The Depressed Economy and Happy Food

(Picture from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.)

During the Great Depression most were very poor and could barely afford food which they needed to survive. The picture shows a very long food line in New York City. In the video I have chosen Clara who lived through the great depression showed us how her mom made pizza. On nights when mom made bread she will take a piece of the bread dough and they will have dinner for the night. Their budget conscious pizza makes my pizza look very high class. My first cooking book actually was a book full of recipes from the Great Depression era and I notice that they try to substitute anywhere they can for cheaper products and they used lard to replace butter and oil. I feel like the messages that these two sources communicate about the Depression is that although times where tough people still found away to make it thru and they looked forward to the little things like the way Clara describes about how her family gathered around the lamp.


Don’t re-shuffle them cards! I like this hand.

It IS a New Deal

It IS a New Deal, 3/11/33 By Talburt in thePittsburgh Press

The public’s response to Roosevelt’s programs were viewed in high favor.  It seemed like he was handling things very quickly and efficiently.  It was with the ending of prohibition and the handling of the bank emergencies, that gave the American people faith in him.  It also helped him that many people viewed him as a trusted figure.  People needed faith with dealing with the Depression, and the economic turmoil that the United States was in.

Roosevelt was able to enter almost every American who owned a radios home, in a way that no other president before him could.  I believe the artist, after hearing him like so many other, believed that with the changes that have been made so far and so quickly, Roosevelt New Deals were worth believing in.This image was drawn days after the Bank Holiday was proposed by Roosevelt when he first came into office.


This will help … hopefully

The image is from the Library of Congress. (LIC)

The Great Depression was a trying time for all americans nation wide. With failing banks, droughts, unemployment and severe poverty everywhere, more and more americans sought help from the government. President FDR recognized this outcry and introduced the New Deal, a possible solution to the great depression. Although government spending would increase the nation’s deficit, FDR felt it was necessary in order to get the economy running again. By introducing new programs such as the PWA, NRA, TVA, AAA, CCC and SSA, FDR was able to implement more money to produce more jobs, consumer spending, and reforms to the current financial systems.

The cartoon above was produced in 1933 as a respond to FDR’s New Deal. In the cartoon FDR exclaims ” UNCLE I’M SURELY EXPECTING SOMETHING!”. This statement seems to signify a possible change in the economy after a number of welfare programs (stockings) have been created to help americans. Although the programs seem to relieve some desperation during the great depression, it seems like FDR is unsure what the final result will be. However, FDR expects to see a significant change that will eventually pull the nation out of depression and hopefully prevent a future one.


New Deal- The Trojan Horse

Throughout the history of United States, reforms and new policies have always encountered as invasion of rights by certain skeptics. Due to the political culture of America, politicians are very reserved about letting the federal government to become more powerful. This has remain true even during the Great Depression. Although the entire nation was desperate for solutions to their economics disparity, many citizens were still conscious of their political rights and freedom despite of their poverty.

The political cartoon above has demonstrated this idea perfectly. When Franklin Roosevelt proposed his New Deal as the solution to the Great Depression to the Congress, certain politicians have viewed the reform as an invasion to the Congress. The cartoonist believed that the New Deal was making an attempt to obtain more power than it should by taking advantage of the economic disaster. The cartoon is referring to the policies that expands the power of the federal government, such as the establishment of Civilian Conservation Corps (CVC) and Public-Works Projects (PWA). Those two policies have hired many civilians for the constructions of parks, roads, bridges, and other public buildings, and critics complained that these policies are gaining control of the citizens by creating employment opportunities. Certain critics also considered such policies as a step toward socialism and communism. They believed that such economic policies are Trojan horses that would transform our capitalistic nation to socialistic/communistic country.


Christmass in NY during Great Depression

Photographer: Russell Lee. Unemployed workers in front of a shack with Christmas tree, East 12th Street, New York City. December 1937.

Alternative take of Migrant Mother by D. Lange taken in March 1936, Nipomo, California

The pictures were taken in very different parts of the US, one in New York City, another in California, the two business centers of the two coasts. Both photos from the both coasts convey the same great deal of hopelessness and insecurity. The scenery is similar: temporary shelters made of various scrap materials in the middle of a field with debris and garbage spread around, and in the middle people, all look haggard, exhausted and depressed. The Christmas Three by the shelter looks very dramatic, as the picture was taken in December. The similarities in the two photos show that Great Depression did not spare either part of the US, including large cities like NYC.


Whose fault is it!

blame game by Nate Collier (ca. 1931 – 1932)

Many say it all started with the stock market crash of 1929, but there were so many other factor that contributed to the Greatest Depression the world has seen.  Was it the bank, lack of international trade, was it capitalism.  Something was definitely unbalanced, and led to extreme poverty.

Dorothea Lange‘s Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, age 32, a mother of seven children, in Nipomo, California, March 1936.

When ever I think about the depression, and even during my research of photographs, the picture above seems to carry the greatest effect on me. This woman is carrying her two small children, and a look of pure sadness and lost that one just can’t fake.  She looks poor, and while doing some research found that she had 7 children traveling and looking for work. That’s a lot of mouths to feed.  I can’t imagine how hard that was.  At least now, there are government supports and aids for some of the poor.

I close these two photographs to show how on the large scale of things, that many things may have been responsible for the Great depression, but at the end of the day, many families suffered for it.  The hardship was real even if the real reason isn’t quite clear.


Enemies of the Law… Heroes of the People!

During the Great Depression while the country’s money was decling and the unemployment rate was at its peak, Bonnie and Clyde became famous for their notorious battles against the law. Although Clyde expressed interests to lead a non-criminal life after his experience in the notoriously brutal Eastham Prison Farm, the start of the Great Depression left him jobless forcing him to rob again soon after. At the time many felt that big businesses and government officials were abusing the capitalistic system, so the news about Bonnie and Clyde made them instantly famous for their”opposition” of the system by robbing banks.

Bonnie and Clyde. (This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c34474)

Bonnie Parker smoking a cigar while holding a gun moll. This image was found by the police. (http://foia.fbi.gov/bonclyd/bonclyd1a)

The image above on the right is a snapshot of Bonnie smoking a cigar while holding a gun moll. The police found this photo in one of their abandoned hideouts. These photos were soon released to the the press and was published nationwide. This began Bonnie’s notorious reputation as a cigar-smoking gull moll.


The Crash That started the depression.

One of the major catalysts of the Great Depression was the stock market crash in October of 1929. The market lost $40 billion dollars in value in two months, which is at that time over 40% of the Gross Domestic Product of US in 1929. The crash led to widespread panic selling which fueled further declines in the market. Business conditions became bleak, leading to high unemployment rate. Black Tuesday was one the days when the market crashed and lost 12%, marking the beginning of the great depression. The market bottomed in 1932, after losing 89% of its value from its peak three years earlier.


Enough is Enough!

During the Great Depression, unemployment was high. Many employers tried to get as much work as possible from their employees for the lowest possible wage. Workers were upset with the speedup of assembly lines, working conditions and the lack of job security. Seeking strength in unity, they formed unions. Automobile workers organized the U.A.W. (United Automobile Workers of America) in 1935. General Motors would not recognize the U.A.W. as the workers’ bargaining representative. Hearing rumors that G.M. was moving work to factories where the union was not as strong, workers in Flint began a sit-down strike on December 30, 1936. The sit-down was an effective way to strike. When workers walked off the job and picketed a plant, management could bring in new workers to break the strike. If the workers stayed in the plant, management could not replace them with other workers. This photograph shows the broken windows at General Motors’ Flint Fisher Body Plant during the Flint sit-down strike of 1936-37.

World War I veterans block the steps of the Capital during the Bonus March, July 5, 1932 (Underwood and Underwood). In the summer of 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, World War I veterans seeking early payment of a bonus scheduled for 1945 assembled in Washington to pressure Congress and the White House. Hoover resisted the demand for an early bonus. Veterans benefits took up 25% of the 1932 federal budget. Even so, as the Bonus Expeditionary Force swelled to 60,000 men, the president secretly ordered that its members be given tents, cots, army rations and medical care.

In July, the Senate rejected the bonus 62 to 18. Most of the protesters went home, aided by Hoover’s offer of free passage on the rails. Ten thousand remained behind, among them a hard core of Communists and other organizers. On the morning of July 28, forty protesters tried to reclaim an evacuated building in downtown Washington scheduled for demolition. The city’s police chief, Pellham Glassford, sympathetic to the marchers, was knocked down by a brick. Glassford’s assistant suffered a fractured skull. When rushed by a crowd, two other policemen opened fire. Two of the marchers were killed.

These two pictures are images that show that the people of the nation had tolerated enough. Not enough was being done to help the economy and the government wasn’t quick enough. In the first image, the workers are taking matter into their own hands by protesting the big factories that were treating them unfairly. The second picture depicts the same concept, but consisted of the war veterans who wanted to collect their bonus checks that were owed to them. In both sceneries, those in power took advantage of them.


Dead End Jobs!

The first photograph shows that men in the United States were unable to get aid from the businesses in their own town. The sign is an indication that the businesses themselves were unable to take care of their own employees so men who were looking for work had to try to look elsewhere. The second photograph shows young children holding signs asking why their fathers were unable to get a job. The two photographs are significant to showing the effects of the Great Depression because it shows the severity of the situation people were in. No one was able to help anyone out, even those who were supposed to help others find jobs could not help. There was a dead end road for everyone.


The Great Depression in America

People sleeping on the streets using newspapers as a blanket and as a mattress

The Great Depression began in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s and early 1940s. There was a sharp decline in profits, personal incomes and tax revenues. Businesses were failing rapidly and many people became unemployed and homeless. The two images shown above portray how the Great Depression greatly impacted their lifestyle. The first image have multiple pictures combined, it shows people of different backgrounds besieged with the same problem. The second image shows homeless people sleeping on the streets. This resulted from high unemployment rates, causing many people have no source of income to support themselves.


The Great Depression: Breadline and World’s Highest Standard of Living

Morris Huberland - Bread Line. late 1930s. Gelatin silver print: 6¾ x 7¼ in.

1937 photo by Margaret Bourke-White – Breadline during Louisville Flood.

The breadlines during the Great Depression are some of the most symbolic characteristics of the Great Depression. The breadlines were unusually long and crowded, despite of the fact that the agency were providing little bread to each individuals. Although most of people on the breadline were capable laborers, the lack of employment opportunities made them unable to make any production and forced them to wait on a crowded line for most of the day-time. It was quite tragic, since many capable workers were forced to accept the little ration provided by the government. Certain city folks found it unbearable and relocated themselves to rural areas to farm, in hope of using their labor to produce actual food.

The two images above are illustrations of the long, crowded breadlines during the Great Depression. The first picture depicts the breadline on a cold day, in which many people wear wearing heavy jackets and hiding their hands in the pockets. They have no other choice other than waiting there. They could not produce food in the city (or not fast enough, since growing vegetation in the backyard cannot guarantee a stable food source),  so they had no choice but to accept their only stable source of food. On the other hand, the second picture portrays the irony of America’s economics collapse. Just several years ago, the Americans were celebrating the lavish lifestyle and liberal behaviors of the Roaring Twenties; however, by the time of the depression, Americans no longer had the money and leisure to enjoy their freedom and the world’s highest standard of living. Nothing remained but the ad board, which ironically depicted their faded prosperity during the age of wide-scale poverty.


Will we ever learn?

This photograph (taken in 1933) depicts a shantytown in Seattle known as Hooverville. Shantytowns sprang up all over America housing thousands of unemployed families.

This is a wonderful video produced by PBS in the Cosmopolis series. It summarizes the speculation and activities of stock brokers before Black Tuesday as well as the aftereffects. PBS used great archival materials, including photographs, audio, and video from 1929.

The photograph depicts the dire consequences of American (humans in general) greed. The smoke in the background symbolizes the hell that the persons in the foreground will face. Furthermore the black & white nature of the photograph adds a feeling of lost hope, capturing this moment in America’s history perfectly. Contrarily, the video describes a major cause of the great depression and has tons of outstanding material however it fails to portray the chaos and solemn reality of the Great Depression due to it’s focus on videos and pictures of the mass, thus not allowing the viewer to sympathize with an individual. However it does get the point across, I just wonder if the federal reserve and banking institutions ever heard of this mysterious event that occurred in 1929…


I Ain’t “Lying”, But I’m Still Roaring

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/SclJ94h2oyQ” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

The roaring twenties became a time where Americans broke away from their old traditions. People starting becoming more involved in doing things that haven’t been done. Such things are people spending more and more of their money on leisure activities such as vacations, movies and sporting events. Radios owners exponentially increased and served as their daily entertainment resource. With that, the radio also became a great asset to spreading information. With this sudden upscale of the quality of living for Americans, the roaring twenties ended with the Great Depression in 1929.


Great Depression (1929-1940)

The Great Depression is worst depression in our nation’s history, not ending completely until the United State entered WWII.

During the depression, thousands of the business failed, half a million farmers lost their farms, one-quarter of the banks failed, and millions of people were out of work(picture in the left side). There was no safety net as in today’s economy – no unemployment insurance, retirement benefit, or bank deposit insurance. Private charities were overwhelmed. People went hungry; children suffered from malnutrition.(picture in the right side)


The Not-so-great Depression

This is a "town" of shacks in Central Park, called a Hooverville. (From http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/centralparkhooverv.jpg)

This is a “town” of shacks in Central Park, called a Hooverville. (From http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/centralparkhooverv.jpg)

During The Great Depression conditions in America were horrible. Now, I know we think we had it bad the past few years, but that does not even compare to how bad it was in the early 20th century. Most people had no work. Now, I am not strictly talking about unskilled workers, but rather many professionals did not have work as well. Everyone was looking for jobs and nobody was able to support their family. In order to even attain some food people would wait on these breadlines. The lines were hundreds, or thousands, of people lined up waiting to get a small portion of food given out for free. This is what a majority of America had to resort too. People couldn’t afford housing either. Some lived in cardboard boxes. and others lived in houses that were not much better. Shown in the picture is a village of tiny, dinky shacks that was set up in New York’s Central Park. While nearly impossible, I hope the two pictures that I posted give you an idea of the poverty present in The Great Depression.

This is a breadline where people can come and get free food. (From http://dailycapitalist.com/2009/06/24/the-great-depression-a-short-history/)

This is a breadline where people can come and get free food. (From http://dailycapitalist.com/2009/06/24/the-great-depression-a-short-history/)


The Stock Market Crash of 1929

After World War I, the United States had an extensive economic expansion due to new technologies and enhanced production processes. The Stock Market benefited from the expanding economy. Eventually the Stock Market Crashed on 1929. Many banks tried to collect loans made to stock market investors since their holdings were worth nothing at all. When people found out that the banks’ assets contained uncollectable loans, depositors rushed to withdraw their savings, concerned about the security of their bank. Several thousand banks began to fail due to the panic. In result of the Stock Market Crash, many people lost their entire saving, many companies failed, and peoples’ faith in banks was destroyed. This event triggered the beginning of the Great Depression.


Stock market crash:1929

The stock market crash on October 24, 1929  is remembered as one of the most devastating event in Wall Street history. In the weeks leading up to the crash, the market was very unstable.A record of 12.9 million shares were traded on that day .The Dow Jones Industrial Average partially recovered in November- December 1929 and early 1930; however reversed and crashed again.The crash began a 12 year depression that would plague the nation. People came to remember this day as Black Thursday in America and Black Friday in Europe. Combined the stock market crash and the Great Depression caused the biggest financial crisis of the 20th century.