The Great Depression


The Causes and Effects of the Depression

The wall street crash of 1929 was also called Black Tuesday. This crash was and is the worst stock market crash ever in history. People to this day are still debating over what actually caused the crash of the stock market but it was mainly caused by the weakness of the American agriculture and industry. The dramatic drop in the economy caused widespread unemployment and poverty.

Hoover's Policies

Hoover's presidency was considered very tragic. Hoover believed that " the government should not support the people", he believed in the self man and refused to believe that the crash of the stock market could effect the way a family survives. In reaction to the crash of the stock market, Hoover wanted the federal reserve to raise the interest rates but the reserve did the exact opposite. In 1932 the republicans re-nominated Hoover as their presidential candidate. Many unemployed veterans were denied their bonuses from World War II, this caused them to begin to protest and march and occupy a building that was set for demolition until the bonuses were paid. Hoover ordered the military to peacefully remove the protesters from the building but it turned violent and one man was killed. This terrible tragedy completely destroyed Hoover's chances of winning the upcoming election.

Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932 and began the New Deal within his first 100 days in office. Even though the US was in a terrible state, FDR gave the people a face of hope and said, "The only thing to fear is fear itself." By 1932 more than a quarter of Americans were unemployed. When FDR took office he quickly tried to create jobs and boost the economy. He started a series of projects and programs called the New Deal. The New Deal "aimed to restore the dignity and prosperity to many Americans." Within his first hundred days FDR asked congress to end Prohibition. He enacted a law that let the federal government build dams along the Tennessee River that provided hydroelectric energy and aided flooding called the Tennessee Valley Authority Act. Congress also passed a bill that paid farmers to leave their crops to end the agricultural inflation, called the Agriculture Adjustment Act.

The Second New Deal

By 1935 the New Deal was starting to slow down because of people like Huey Long thought that the New Deal wasn't as extensive as it needed to be. FDR proposed the National Industry Recovery Act, a key factor to the New Deal, to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court denied it. FDR decided to begin the Second New Deal. New relief programs were put into action like the Work Progress Administration that helped 9 million people find jobs. The Federal Housing Authority help low income families find homes to live in. The Second New Deal also included the Social Security Act that provides money for the unemployed and the elderly, this act is still in effect to this day.

With only Vermont and Maine against him FDR won the election of 1936 with a huge landslide of 523 electoral votes.