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Political Responses to the Great Depression

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Political Responses to the Great Depression Maurice Duplessis J.S. Woodsworth Bible Bill Aberhart R.B. Bennett The Politicians offer their Solutions – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Political Responses to the Great Depression


1
Political Responses to the Great Depression
Maurice Duplessis
J.S. Woodsworth
Bible Bill Aberhart
R.B. Bennett
The Politicians offer their Solutions
2
Political Responses to the Great Depression
  • The effect of the Great Depression
  • Prime Minister Bennetts response
  • The On to Ottawa Trek
  • William Woodsworth and the CCF
  • Bill Aberhart and the Social Credit Party
  • Maurice Duplessis and The Union Nationale

Homeless Canadian family in Western Canada during
the heart of the Depression
3
The Effect of the Great Depression
  • In Saskatchewan, over 200,000 people are forced
    to leave their farms. 70 of their population was
    dependent upon social assistance (very basic).
  • Overall in Canada, the incomes of families fell
    by over 50
  • Imports fell by 55 exports by 25.
  • Out of a total population of 10 Million, 2
    million Canadians were living off relief handouts
    (e.g. soup kitchens).
  • Canadas unemployment rate went from 4 to almost
    30 (1 in 5 Canadians were out of work)

A Soup Kitchen during the Depression What do
you think about when you see this picture?
4
How did the Government Respond?
  • At this point in Canadian History, the social
    programs that we know of today such as Employment
    Insurance and Welfare did not exist.
  • Remember MacKenise King was the Prime Minister
    from 1926 -1930.
  • Then, newly appointed Prime Minister Bennet was
    elected and reigned during the early 1930s.
  • THEN, MacKensie KING was re-elected from
    1935-1948).

27 Unemployment
MacKenzie King
5
Kings Response to the Depression
  • Former Prime Minister MacKenzie King thought that
    it was the responsibility of the provinces to aid
    their own citizens.
  • He wasn't prepared for the depression (not many
    political leaders were) and so he didnt take an
    interventionist approach to the Economy.
  • King was eventually openly criticized for his
    controversial comment that he wouldnt give a
    five cent piece of relief money to any province
    that had a Conservative Government

He wont give a five cent piece
6
Enter Bonfire Bennett
  • R.B. Bennett was Leader of the Conservative Party
    of Canada
  • He had the nickname bonfire because of his
    bombastic (loud) speaking style.
  • On July 28th, 1930 R.B. Bennett became Prime
    Minister of Canada and took over from P.M.
    MacKensie King.
  • Given his rags to riches humble beginnings, he
    believed in capitalism and the free-enterprise
    system (i.e. leave the government out of the
    economy alone and everything will work out in the
    end)

Prime Minister R.B. Bennett
7
Bennetts Response to the Depression
  • He put 20 Million dollars towards emergency
    relief
  • Unemployment Relief Act (1930) was mostly
    administered by provinces and municipalities
  • Response He balanced the budget by cutting
    services.
  • He raised the tariffs on imports to 50 in order
    to protect Canadas industries from foreign
    competition and end the trade deficit.

Bonfire Bennett
8
One Man Show
9
Relief going on the pogey
  • Humiliation
  • Failure
  • Food vouchers
  • Private charity
  • Relief Work
  • Work Camps
  • Line up for a soup kitchen, Toronto

10
Canadas Reaction
  • R.B. Bennetts plans made the depression WORSE as
    his protectionism cut off Canadian exports.
  • Many Canadians could not afford to put gasoline
    in their cars. Instead, their cars were pulled
    by horses!
  • Canadians called these cars Bennett Buggies

The Bennett Buggy
11
The On to Ottawa Trek
  • Many workers began to ride the rails in order to
    find work in other parts of Canada.
  • 1000 relief camp workers climbed aboard freight
    trains and headed for Ottawa to protest their
    working conditions

Riding the rails The On to Ottawa Trek
12
The Regina Riot
  • When the train reached Regina, Saskatchewan, the
    number of protesters had doubled.
  • Fearing a huge protest in Ottawa, R.B. Bennett
    stopped the train in Regina and tried to
    negotiate with the protestors.
  • On July 1st, 1935 a riot broke out as the RCMP
    tried to arrest the organizers of the protest.
  • A Regina police officer was killed and 130
    protesters were arrested.
  • The On to Ottawa trek was officially over.

A riot breaks out in Regina as the Government
tries to stop the On to Ottawa Trek
13
Bennetts New Deal
  • Borrows from FDRs New Deal in US
  • sweeping social reform platform announced on
    radio
  • The capitalist system has failed
  • promised laws to control big business
  • to increase income and business taxes
  • to reduce farm debts
  • to introduce minimum wages, the 8 hour day
  • unemployment insurance, health insurance
  • better old age pensions

14
The Return of King
  • Unfortunately for Prime Minister Bennett, in
    1935, the Canadian people had enough of Bennett
    who they blamed for prolonging the Depression.
  • Running under the slogan King or Chaos, the
    former Prime Minister (McKenzie King) won the
    election in 1935.

Hes Back Again!!!!!!!
15
Other Political Parties offer their solutions
  • Bill Aberhart was a preacher and school teacher
    from Alberta
  • He thought that the Depression was caused by
    people not having enough money to buy goods and
    services especially farmers.
  • His idea? Give every citizen 25 per month
    prosperity certificate so people could buy more
    products and help the economy.
  • His party was called the Social Credit Party.
  • His party was elected in 1935 in Alberta, but
    they never paid out the certificates. The party
    was a major force in the west and stayed in power
    until the 1970s in Alberta. It was also a major
    force in BC politics

Social Credit Party leader Bible Bill Aberhart
16
The CCF
  • J.S. Woodsworth was a conscientious objector
    during WW1 and worked as a minister in Winnipeg
    helping the homeless.
  • He believed that the free enterprise system had
    failed the people during the depression and that
    the government needed to take a greater role
    during the depression.
  • He proposed Unemployment insurance, free medical
    care, family allowances and old age pensions.
  • Many of his ideas have been adopted in Canada.
  • His Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
    Party later was renamed the NDP in 1961.

J.S. Woodsworth
17
The Union Nationale
  • Maurice Duplessis blamed the existence of the
    Depression on the fact that many of Quebecs
    industries were owned by Americans and English
    speaking Canadians.
  • He formed the Union Nationale so that Quebeckers
    would have more control over their economy.
  • The Union Nationale won the Quebec election in
    1936 and remained a force in Quebec politics for
    the next 22 years

Maurice Duplessis of the Union Nationale
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