Chapter 12 The Great Depression & New Deal 1929-1940 Timeline

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Chapter 12 -- The Great Depression & New Deal 1929-1940


  1. 1929- U.S. Stock market crashes, Great Depression begins

  2. 1931- President Hoover does not support government help for the poor

  3. 1932- Americans dislike Hoover, elect President Roosevelt (FDR)

  4. 1933- FDR begins government aid programs

  5. **Adolf Hitler becomes dictator of Germany

  6. 1935- Social Security Act is passed

  7. 1939- Germany invades Poland, World War II begins

Vocabulary Terms

  1. Herbert Hoover – Republican president, he did not think the government should help the poor

  2. Hoover flags – empty pockets hanging out, showed how poor or needy you were

  3. Hoovervilles – shacks made by the homeless of scrap metal and garbage

  4. Speculation – buying and then selling stock in hopes of making money quickly

  5. Buying on margin – paying a small down payment and borrowing the rest of the money to buy stocks

  6. Black Tuesday – October 29, 1929, remembered as the day the stock market crashed

  7. Crash of 1929 – stock market prices dropped drastically, beginning of the Great Depression

  8. Great Depressioneconomic downturn, lasted from 1929 to World War II (worst and longest depression in history)

  9. Public works projects – government funding used to help the economy by creating jobs building roads and dams

  10. Bonus Army – World War I veterans who marched to Washington demanding their bonus checks they were promised after fighting in WWI

Background Information

  1. During the 1920s (Roaring 20s) some businesses were making a lot of money but industries such as agriculture, railroads, and mines were suffering.

  2. Most Americans barely had enough money to pay their bills or feed their families.

  3. People could not afford to buy the products that companies were making so workers began to lose their jobs.

  4. Unemployment, especially among African Americans, was very high.

The Crash of 1929

  1. Due to speculation and investors buying on margin, the normal down-turn of the economy caused a panic and people sold off their stock

  2. October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday) the stock market crashed to an all-time low, marking the beginning of the Great Depression

  3. Banks had to close because they ran out of money and people began to lose their homes

  4. Many lived in Hoovervilles and had to stand in bread lines or soup lines to get any food

Hoover’s Response to the Great Depression

  1. Hoover was conservative and felt that government intervention (giving out government money) would not help.

  2. He lowered government spending and raised taxes, but that made the depression even worse.

  3. Hoover felt giving federal aid (government money) to the poor would make them stop looking for work.

  4. Public works projects were set up to help people find jobs building roads and dams.

Hoover vs. FDR

  1. World War I veterans wanted their bonus checks early and marched to Washington, D.C. in 1932.

  2. The Bonus Army was attacked by the military with tear gas, one was shot to death, to get them out of Washington, D.C.

  3. America was very upset about the attack on the WWI veterans and decided to elect a different President in 1932.

  4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a liberal, was elected President.

Life During the Depression

  1. Unemployment rates were at an all-time high

  2. Young boys dropped out of school to work, adding to the family income

  3. Young girls stayed home to water younger siblings

  4. Teenagers without jobs often ran away from home, by 1932, over 250,000 teens roamed the streets

  5. Dust Bowl causes 2.5million people to leave their homes and travel west in search of a better life

  6. Despite hard times, many people watched movies for entertainment and to escape the sadness

Dust Bowl

  1. A massive drought and too much plowing in the Great Plains region left loose dirt on the ground

  2. Area effect by dust bowl = Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico

  3. Strong winds picked up the loose dirt and created huge dust storms known as “black blizzards”

  4. The storms killed thousands of animals and people

  5. People living in the areas effected moved West to look for a better life – new homes and jobs

  6. People moving West were known as “Okies”

Roosevelt Wins the Election

  1. FDR’s famous quote from his inaugural speech “…The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

  2. FDR boosted America’s confidence and gave everyone hope

  3. Bank Holiday – all banks temporarily shut down and only strong banks were allowed to reopen

  4. Fireside Chats – FDR gave radio speeches explaining his ideas in a friendly way to Americans

  5. Fireside chats helped the economy by convincing people to put money back into the banks

The New Deal

  1. FDR started trying to help the economy in the first hundred days by suggesting new laws to Congress

  2. The New Deal would change the way the government worked and try to prevent another depression

  3. Three major goals of The New Deal (3 R’s):

    1. Relief for the hungry and jobless

    2. Recovery for agriculture (farming) and industry (factories)

    3. Reform to change the way the economy worked

Reactions to The New Deal

  1. Conservatives didn’t like the government getting so involved in the economy

  2. Conservatives were worried that taxes would go way up to pay for the New Deal programs

  3. A few leaders felt that FDR’s plan didn’t help enough

  4. Overall, Americans showed their support of FDR’s plan by electing more Democrats to Congress during his presidency

Second New Deal

  1. New Deal programs were working by many people still needed help – like the elderly

  2. Social Security Act allowed people to receive a small amount of money from the government after they retired

  3. Social Security payments acts like a paycheck for those that can no longer work, disabled, and laid-off workers

  4. The Second New Deal programs helped FDR get reelected to a second presidential term

FDR Faces Challenges

  1. Supreme Court justices did not like FDR’s New Deal because it gave the government more power

  2. FDR tried to pass a bill that would allow him to add six more justices so that he would be able to pass any laws he wanted

  3. Congress voted no on FDR’s bill and it hurt his reputation greatly – people lost trust in him

  4. The economy slowed down again in 1937 and he struggled with the decision to use deficit spending

    1. The government using borrowed money to pay for the New Deal Program

Eleanor Roosevelt and Women in the Great Depression

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt, President Roosevelt’s wife, acted as the “eyes and ears” of the President

  2. Mrs. Roosevelt would hold press conferences for female reporters only

  3. More women worked in the government during FDR’s presidency than ever before

  4. Frances Perkins became the first female cabinet member when FDR appointed her Secretary of Labor

    1. She fought for minimum wage, unemployment benefits, and limits on child employment

Minorities and The Depression

  1. Many African Americans began to support the Democrats because FDR helped the poor

  2. FDR had several African Americans working closely with him as his “Black Cabinet”

  3. He opposed lynching but knew that trying to pass an anti-lynching law would get Southerners angry and stop New Deal programs from passing

  4. Mexican Americans did not receive as much help from the government as other groups and often faced deportation – many stopped applying for aid

  5. Native Americans were given back some of their land and the government promoted native arts

Labor Unions

  1. American Federation of Labor (AFL) was the largest union but only skilled workers could join

  2. Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was formed to allow both skilled and unskilled workers and welcomed women and minorities

  3. Sit-down strikes were very effective in getting better working conditions

  4. The Wagner Act allowed labor unions more power to negotiate for their workers

Effects of The New Deal

  1. People were effected emotionally by the Depression, most lived in fear that it would happen again

  2. The New Deal programs did not end the Depression but they changed the way the government worked

  3. FDR increased the power of the President, making the White House the center of the government, by suggesting laws to Congress instead of waiting for Congress to write them

  4. He expanded the federal government by making relief programs

  5. He started the government using deficit spending

New Deal Programs Today

  1. Social Security – pays retired workers (and several other groups) by taking money out of each worker’s paycheck

  2. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – settles arguments between laborers and management

  3. Agriculture Price Supports – farmers get paid by government to grow crops to sell in the U.S.

  4. Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) – guarantees money to be returned if bank closes

  5. Securities and Exchange Commission – watches stock market, enforcing rules for fair trading

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