The Great Depression
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The Great Depression. The Roaring 20’s. The new concept of “credit” People were buying: Automobiles Appliances Clothes Fun times reigned Dancing Flappers Drinking. Why was this bad?. Credit system People didn’t really have the money they were spending WWI

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The Great Depression

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The Great Depression

The Roaring 20’s

  • The new concept of “credit”

  • People were buying:

    • Automobiles

    • Appliances

    • Clothes

  • Fun times reigned

    • Dancing

    • Flappers

    • Drinking

Why was this bad?

  • Credit system

    • People didn’t really have the money they were spending

  • WWI

    • The U.S. was a major credit loaner to other nations in need

    • Many of these nations could not pay us back

The Stock Market

  • People bought stocks on margins

    • If a stock is $100 you can pay $10 now and the rest later when the stock rose

  • Stocks fall

    • Now the person has less than $100 and no money to pay back

And then….

  • With people panicking about their money investors tried to sell their stocks

    • This leads to a huge decline in stocks

    • Stocks were worthless now

  • People who bought on “margins” now could not pay

  • Investors were average people that were now broke


  • Stock market crash

  • Didn’t realize the effect it would have

  • No money to replenish what was borrowed

Many found being broke humiliating.

President Hoover

  • Herbert Hoover was president at the start

  • Philosophy: We’ll make it!

  • What He Did: Nothing

  • The poor were looking for help and no ideas on how to correct or help were coming

What about the people?

  • Farmers were already feeling the effects

    • Prices of crops went down

    • Many farms foreclosed

  • People could not afford luxuries

    • Factories shut down

    • Businesses went out

  • Banks could not pay out money

  • People could not pay their taxes

    • Schools shut down due to lack of funds

  • Many families became homeless and had to live in shanties

Many waited in unemployment lines hoping for a job.

People in cities would wait in line for bread to bring to their family.

Some families were forced to relocate because they had no money.


  • Some families were forced to live in shanty towns

    • A grouping of shacks and tents in vacant lots

  • They were referred to as “Hooverville” because of President Hoover’s lack of help during the depression.


Out of the Dust:

The South

and the

Dust Bowl

A drought in the South lead to dust storms that destroyed crops.

“The Dust Bowl”

The South Was Buried

  • Crops turned to dust=No food to be sent out

  • Homes buried

  • Fields blown away

  • South in state of emergency

  • Dust Bowl the #1 weather crisis of the 20th century

Two Families During the Depression

A Farm Foreclosure

Some families tried to make money by selling useful crafts like baskets.


  • When he was inaugurated unemployment had increased by 7 million.

  • Poor sections (like Harlem) had 50% of the pop. unemployed

  • Instated the “New Deal”

  • Yea! Frankie!

  • People everywhere were effected by the depression

  • It wasn’t till President Roosevelt took over and tried to put the economy back together that people even saw a glimmer of hope

To Kill a


Major Historical Happenings...

  • Jim Crow Laws

  • Scottsboro Trials

  • Recovering from the Great Depression

  • Racial Injustice

  • Poor South

Jim Crow Laws

  • After the American Civil War most states in the South passed anti-African American legislation. These became known as Jim Crow laws.

  • These laws included segregation in…

    • Schools-- Hospitals

    • Theaters-- Water fountains

    • Restaurants

    • Hotels

    • Public transportation

    • Some states forbid inter-racial marriages

  • These laws were instituted in 1896 and were not abolished till the late 1950’s (even then still not completely).

Scottsboro Boys Trial

  • 9 young African-American men (13-20) accused of raping 2 white girls in 1931

  • Immediately sentenced to death

  • Trials went on for nearly 15 years before all the men were dismissed

  • Started on a train bound for Memphis

  • Several white men boarded and picked a fight with the black men

  • Whites were forced off train by the 12 black men. The white men reported the the black men had raped two white girls on the train to authorities

  • They were immediately arrested and tried in front of an all-white jury.

The trials caused a huge uproar amongst the black community.

Harper Lee

  • Wrote To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960

  • Based the story on her life growing up in Monroeville, Alabama

  • TKAM was the only novel she ever wrote

  • The character of “Dill,” Scout and Jem’s playmate in the novel was based upon Lee’s actual neighbor, Truman Capote

  • Capote is famous for amongst other things, In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

  • It has been said that he gave Lee Mockingbird as a gift.

  • In 1962 the novel was turned into a film starring Gregory Peck.

  • It received a humanitarian award and several Academy Award nominations

The End

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