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GREAT DEPRESSION 1. Herbert Hoover: a. Promoted economic modernization b. Economy was booming, he won easily over Catholic Al Smith (D) c. Believed there were technical solutions to all social and economic problems d. Tried establishing government programs but they failed 2. October 29 th , 1929: a. Overproduction, declining purchasing market, no increase in worker’s wages b. Gold standard lowered treasury options c. Destabilized families, divorce rate did not decrease, family break ups did occur d. International trade declined sharply, as did personal incomes, tax revenues, prices, and profits e. Huge inequalities in wealth distribution in the US f. High deflation, unemployment, and poverty 3. Bank and Business Failures: a. Thousands of banks and businesses failed and unemployment grew b. People wanted to pull money out of the bank to live off of, but there was not money there due to the high volume of withdrawals 4. Unemployment: a. Masses of people were unemployed due to the lack of businesses still running, construction halted and farming had to scale back immensely b. Soup kitchens were formed to feed the poor c. Shanty-towns called Hoovervilles were built to house the very poor 5. Europe Also Destabilized: a. Various countries hurt by the depression, which induced public upheaval b. Germany was too hard hit to repay its reparations that were due, the political system veered towards extremism, causing the Nazi Party to rise to power in 1933 c. Many fascist and socialist parties formed across the continent after observing that the Great Depression hardly affected the communist systems of the Soviet Union 6. Reconstruction Finance Corp, 1932: a. Agency in the US government which gave $2 billion in aid to state and local governments and made loans to banks, railroads, farm mortgage associations, and other businesses 7. Popular Front: a. Group of people who adopted policies of forming broad alliances with almost any political party willing to oppose the fascists. b. They received directions from Joseph Stalin through the US communist party
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