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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 8. Bonus Army:
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a. Was an expeditionary force of about 17,000 WWI veterans, accompanied by their families and other affiliated groups, who demonstrated in DC during the spring and summer of 1932 b. They sough immediate cash payment of Service Certificates granted eight years before c. A bill would have pushed the date of payment sooner but it failed to pass in the Senate, causing upheaval d. The military moved in and injured hundreds and killed several e. Caused the creation of the GI Bill of Rights, which guaranteed basic assistance from the US government for returning war veterans 9. Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR): a. “Fireside Chats”, revolutionized the use of media for a president b. Elected 4 times 10. New Deal: a. Series of programs and promises that FDR initiated between 1933 and 1938 with the goal of giving relief, reform, and recovery to the people and economy of the US during the Great Depression b. Banking reform laws, emergency relief programs, work relief programs, and agriculture programs
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