The Great Depression and Unemployment

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The Great Depression and the New Deal

The Great Depression was the most devastating economic crash Americans have ever experienced. It resulted in nationwide economic ruin, and one of the consequences was job loss. During the late 1920‘s, manufacturer’s were overproducing their products and the demand for their products was becoming smaller. They cut back on production by laying off workers.This had a major effect on the economy, because people who didn’t have a steady stream of income couldn’t buy as many products, causing the whole economy to slow down. Then businesses laid off more workers, and unemployment spiraled out of control. By 1933, one in four Americans were out of work. Fathers were leaving home to find work, or just leaving the family all together so they only had the pressure of providing for one person. When this occurred mothers had to look for work and sometimes the children also had to get jobs.

The opposition for the New Deal mostly came from the Supreme Court and public speakers. The Supreme Court decided that several New Deal Programs were unconstitutional, especially the National Recovery Administration. This program tried to regulate minimum wage, child labor laws, and keep prices on products from rising to high. They said that the NRA and many other programs were to restrictive of individual freedom and they went too far in regulating businesses. Roosevelt tried solved this problem by attempting to appoint new justices to replace the old ones who were opposing his plan. However, his plan was rejected by the Court. So, as the conservative justices would resign, Roosevelt would replace them with liberal justices. Throughout his presidency, Roosevelt appointed eight new Supreme Court justices.

People still debate about the effectiveness of the New Deal. One view is that the New Deal gave to much power to the federal government. These people stated that the programs in this deal threatened businesses and individual freedom. Herbert Hoover said, "Either we will have a society based upon ordered liberty and the liberty of the individual, or we shall have a planned society that means dictation no matter what you call it or who does it." These people believe that the government should be involved in the lives of citizens as little as possible. Critics were also worried about the massive national debt that resulted from the New Deal programs. The people who support the New Deal say that it was extremely effective. It reformed the stock market, employed millions of people, improved working conditions, built dams and bridges, preserved 12 million acres of national parks, and sponsored many works of art that can still be seen today. It also restored faith in the government. On writer stated, "I have always felt like you and your wife and children were as common as we were." I felt that the New Deal worked pretty well overall. It didn't really end the Great Depression, but it did drastically decrease the unemployment rate, and made restored people's faith in the government's ability to take care of them.


I had a little trouble making this video, because I haven't used iMovie very much, and I had some trouble putting my audio with the pictures. It also took me quite a while to find all my pictures to go with my script. Overall, though, I thought it was a pretty good project, and it helped me learn about the Great Depression more than an writing an essay would.