The Great Depression

Created by: B

How it began ?

The depression was caused by a number of serious weaknesses in the economy. Although the 1920s appeared on the surface to be a prosperous time, income was unevenly distributed. The wealthy made large profits, The Roaring Twenties but more and more Americans spent more than they earned, and farmers faced low prices and heavy debt. The lingering effects of World War I caused economic problems in many countries, as Europe struggled to pay war debts and reparations. These problems contributed to the crisis that began the Great Depression.

Effects

America's "Great Depression" began with the dramatic crash of the stock market on "Black Thursday", October 24, 1929 when 16 million shares of stock were quickly sold by panicking investors who had lost faith in the American economy. At the height of the Depression in 1933, nearly 25% of the Nation's total work force, 12,830,000 people, were unemployed.

President Hoover wasn't able to do much, as a result FDR was elected as the new president in a hope that he would make the country better.

FDR in Action

Roosevelt's program was called the 'New Deal.' The words 'New Deal' signified a new relationship between the American people and their government. This new relationship included the creation of several new federal agencies, called 'alphabet agencies' because of their use of acronyms. A few of the more significant of these New Deal programs was the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) which gave jobs to unemployed youths and to improve the environment, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) gave jobs to thousands of unemployed in everything from construction to the arts, and the NRA (National Recovery Administration) drew up regulations and codes to help revitalize industry. Later on came the creation of the Social Security System, unemployment insurance and more agencies and programs designed to help Americans during times of economic hardship.

Of mice and men

Of Mice and Men is a dark tale, a parable of men journeying through a world of pitfalls and brutal, inhumane experiences. Their dreams seem all but doomed, obstacles block their ways, happiness appears to be an impossibility, and human handicaps affect their hopes. When the novel begins, we are treated to a forest scene with the sunshine on the pond and the gentle breeze in the willow trees promising that life is good. But soon after, that nature scene is replaced by a human world that contains jealousy, cruelty, loneliness, rootlessness, longing for land, and shattered dreams.

Author

When John Steinbeck published Of Mice and Men in 1937, the world was in the grip of the Great Depression. Americans were out of work, breadlines were common day occurrences, and the future looked grim indeed. In California, there were economic and social problems that increasingly concerned Steinbeck and provided material for three novels about agricultural workers. By the time he wrote Of Mice and Men, the itinerant ranch hands were beginning to be replaced by machinery, and their way of life was fast disappearing.