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Bank Run, 1933
Bank Run, 1933

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  • Economics E.2.9 on minimum wage laws

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 11.29.04 AM.pngInfluential Literature Page on The Grapes of Wrath

external image 200px-US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svg.pngFranklin Delano Roosevelt's Disability: Was He Successful in Concealing It?

The Great Depression

From 1929 to about 1939, the Western world faced the longest and most severe depression ever recorded. In the United States it began with a stock market crash in 1929 that left 15 million Americans without jobs.
  • The loss of confidence in the economy drove most Americans to withdraw from the banks, an event that has reoccurred in the United States every few decades since. In the United States, economic distress because of bank failures led to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the presidency in late 1932.
    • Roosevelt introduced a number of major changes in the structure of the American economy, using increased government regulation and massive public-works projects to promote recovery.
      • Mass unemployment and economic stagnation prevailed and continued to define to 1930s. FDR did successfully reduce unemployment, with lesser 15 percent of the work force still unemployed in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II.
        • After that, unemployment dropped rapidly as American factories were stimulated with orders from overseas for arms and machinery. The depression ended abruptly during United States' entry into World War II in 1941.


Photo Essay on the Great Depression from the Modern American Poetry website of the Department of English at the University of Illinois.

Jobless man leaning against a vacant store.
Jobless man leaning against a vacant store.
Public Health nursing made available through child welfare services.
Public Health nursing made available through child welfare services.

The Dust Bowl

**See Dramatic Event Page on The Dust Bowl**

  • Oklahoma boy during the dust bowl
    Oklahoma boy during the dust bowl
    1930s in the Plains area of the US
    • Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico
  • In the years before the Dust Bowl, farmers used poor agricultural practices
  • Grasslands were plowed and planted to wheat
    • Top layer of soil destroyed
  • Large amount of rain lead to plentiful crops
  • However, a drought occurred from 1934 to 1937
  • Nothing the farmers planted grew
  • Soil was gone so seeds blew away in the wind
  • Rapid winds blew dust everywhere and covered the sky
    • "black blizzards"
  • Even homes that were sealed filled with dust
  • 60% of the population was forced to leave
    • Called "exodusters"
  • New Deal agencies were created to rehabilitate the farmland
Click here or here for more information

lessonplan.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on The Dust Bowl from PBS.
  • Click here for a collection of primary sources on the Dust Bowl
  • "Voices from the Dust Bowl" is a collection from the Library of Congress. It includes song lyrics, photos, interviews, and more

Click here for samples from Woody Guthrie's album "Dust Bowl Ballads"
Multimedia.pngClick here for a photo gallery from Ken Burns on the Dust Bowl.
Multimedia.pngThe Plow That Broke the Plains (1936), directed by Pare Lorentz shows what happened when over farming created the conditions that led to the Dust Bowl.
New Deal Mural in a NYC School
New Deal Mural in a NYC School

The New Deal

timeline2_rus.svg.pngClick here for a New Deal timeline
  • President Franklin Roosevelt's plan to help end the Great Depression
  • The New Deal had 4 components:
    • Economic Recovery
      • Stabilize banks, agriculture prices, and bankruptcies
    • Job Creation
      • 1/4 of Americans were unemployed by 1933
      • Created special agencies to provide work
      • Workers could create unions
    • Public Works
      • Build highways, bridges, school, hospitals, post offices, etc
      • Many are still used today
    • Civic Uplift
      • Improve morale
      • Help the greater community as people helped themselves
  • Click here for more information on the New Deal

  • The New Deal Network provides primary resources and lesson plans for the New Deal.
  • Click here for the lesson "Brother, can you spare a dime?" from the Library of Congress

primary_sources.PNGClick here for a collection of primary sources on the New Deal from the Library of Congress

Click here for a listing of New Deal Programs
Click here for a list of New Deal Projects by location

Unemployed men, Volunteers of America Soup Kitchen, Washington, D.C. 1936
Unemployed men, Volunteers of America Soup Kitchen, Washington, D.C. 1936

Additional Resources:

map-ancient-rome-2.jpgClick here for maps on the Great Depression

lessonplan.jpgClick here for APUSH lesson plans from Edsitement