As we have seen the Great Depression had a devastating impact onthe American economy and the American people. President Hooverbelieved, basically, in waiting things out. As result of Hooversinactivity America turned to a new, dynamic leader: Franklin DelanoRoosevelt. Today we will discuss his basic strategy for improving theeconomy.
Most historians agree that the New Deal was what helped alleviate many of the problems during the Great Depression and has been said to have ended the Great Depression.
During this time prices of agricultural goods fell by one half. This was caused by the high tariffs making the export of goods very unprofitable. The farmers in effect produced a surplus of crops. This surplus made the price of crops drop and many farmers had too much food than they knew what to do with.
The effects of the Great Depression were more severe in America but were felt across all world economies. Investors in the stock market could not pay their loans. These included real estate companies. People demanded their deposits from banks in panic and as a result, there was less money in circulation. Government’s efforts to reverse the resultant deflation did not yield results. Companies closed down because of deflation and low demand while some laid down thousands of their workers. Consequently, unemployment levels increased. Real estate properties that were once priced possessions lost value. Investors in real estate could not pay their mortgages. Banks repossessed their properties, which were worthless because no one could afford to buy them. Over nine thousands failed closed down. Nations had to implement major changes in their macroeconomic policies and institutions to recover from the Great Depression.
The Great Depression affected almost every country in the world. It enabled Adolf Hitler to rise to power in Germany and do many of the horrible things he did while running Nazi Germany. Some people say that the depression was one of the sparks of the World War.
But the seed that sprouted into the Great Depression was planted early in the 20th century. World War I caused a vast demand by Europe for American goods. These goods were sold to Europe on a credit basis due to the lack of ability to pay on account of the after effects of the war. This was widely accepted among Europeans and Americans and seemed to be a good idea. The truth behind all these loans was a vast accumulation of debts which would ruin the United States within the next few years.
The students will study the chapters on the Great Depression and Roosevelt's New Deal using the school text American Odyssey. The class will read the text, complete guided readings, and study these issues while reading articles from Roosevelt's Presidency and readings from Highlights in American History. The Depression Essay Project will be introduced during this unit. The use of primary sources and the need to access various Internet sources will enhance the learning process. Each student will choose a photograph from sources to include the KC Public Librarv Special Collection. The students can chose a photograph from the collections of Margaret Bourke-White or Dorothea Lange. Government archives have numerous photographs from the Depression. Additional historical information will be found by accessing , , and Information Please Almanac. The students will gain additional knowledge about FDR by using the Project WhistleStop Web Site.
After completing the research, the student will follow the format of the essay. The time frame will be distributed in order for the student to organize his/her time and information. A class period in the computer lab will be made available to the class. Each student will have the opportunity to share his/her insights in the form of an oral presentation.
A scoring guide will be used to assess each student. The student will receive a copy of the scoring guide at the beginning of the project and a detailed explanation of the requirements of the project.
Conservatives bemoaned a bloated bureaucracy that was nearly a million workers strong, up from just over 600,000 in 1932. They complained that Roosevelt more than doubled the national debt in two short terms, a good deal of which had been lost through waste. Liberals pointed out that the gap between rich and poor was barely dented by the end of the decade. Regardless of its shortcomings, Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal helped America muddle through the dark times strong enough to tackle the even greater task that lay ahead.
Roosevelt was a lawyer, not an economist or business man, and “FDR appeared to be utterly ignorant of economics” .For the Great Depression in the 1930s the American government needed an economist, not a lawyer.
The Great Depression was the worst and longest economic downturn in the history of the world economy. The Depression began in 1929 and lasted until 1939. This economic meltdown affected Western industrialized economies but its effects spread across other nations. The Great Depression began in the United States, which experienced its worst effects. However, some argue that the Depression began about 10 years earlier in Europe but the United States assumed that it was immune to such a downturn. Consequently, the American government at that time did not formulate policies and measures to ensure that the country did not experience the same meltdown as Europe.
However comprehensive the New Deal seemed, it failed to achieve its main goal: ending the Depression. In 1939, the unemployment rate was still 19 percent, and not until 1943 did it reach its pre-Depression levels. The massive spending brought by the American entry to the Second World War ultimately cured the nation's economic woes.