The Great Depression
During the Great Depression, farm prices were low although farm costs were high. This led to many farmers throwing away tons of product to try and drive the price up. In 1928 Herbert Hoover was the president, and many people blamed mostly everything on him. The economy crashed and in the beginning many tried to hide their poverty. In order to qualify for welfare, you could not have a car, radio, or a telephone. Also in some states you couldn’t even vote if you were on welfare. Shantytowns were scattered a crossed the USA and were known as Hoovervilles, this was because many believed he was to blame for their poverty. Also people made a joke that if your pockets were hanging out, that it was called a Hoover flag, because you didn’t have any money. At one point it got so bad for the farmers that they had to protest because the price of products were so low. There was also an organized march by the unemployed, demanding that they wanted jobs. Then Roosevelt got elected, and introduced the new deal. FDR inspired confidence in the American people. Roosevelt ordered all banks to close for four days calling it a bank holiday. When the banks finally opened again, deposits exceeded withdraws. Roosevelt knew that government spending was needed to turn the economy around, and this was what the new deal was going to involve. The NRA failed to stimulate the economy and got labeled “unconstitutional.” The government used propaganda to convince America that the new deal was good for them and working well. The weather made the great depression that much worse. The farming region of the US dried up and became known as the dust bowl. The Wagner act was introduced, which made it possible to create unions and social security was introduced. Most say that the war was what really ended the great depression, because American industries started producing war products, and became known as the arsenal of democracy.