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The Great Depression and World War II


Another World War In Germany, a man named Adolf Hitler was determined to conquer Europe. ... The War Ends President Roosevelt died suddenly in April 1945 from a stroke. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Great Depression and World War II

The Great Depression and World War II
  • Essential Question

How did the people of Washington respond to the
economic, social, and political challenges of the
Great Depression and World War II?
From Boom to Bust
  • The 1920s was a time of prosperity (wealth) and
  • Herbert Hoover was elected president and
    announced the future was bright with hope. But
    this all changed on October 29, 1929.
  • This was the largest selling day in the history
    of the New York Stock Exchange. Many people were
    selling their stocks and few were buying.
  • Suddenly the price of stocks dropped and many
    people lost everything they had overnight.
  • This began a time period in history known as the
    Great Depression.
  • During this time, banks lost peoples money, many
    factories closed, and thousands of people lost
    their jobs.
  • Many people went hungry during the Great
    Depression and began living in the streets.

The Dust Bowl Stretches Westward
  • In 1928, one of the most severe droughts in our
    nations history came to the Great Plains states.
    This turned forests into a fire waiting to
  • In 1936, the Forest Service reported 450,000
    acres of national forest in the Northwest had
    been destroyed by fire.
  • Many farmers suffered during this time because
    they couldnt get a good price for their crops.
    These crops began to rot.
  • Many farmers and family fled the Great Plains
    states. They migrated west in search of work and
    a better life.

Voters Blame Hoover
  • The Great Depression was the worst and longest
    economic downturn in the nations history.
  • Many people blamed President Herbert Hoover. No
    one was helping the many people suffering.
  • When it was time to elect a president, Americans
    rejected Hoover and elected Frankin D. Roosevelt.

A New President
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt promised a New Deal for
    the American people.
  • FDRs New Deal created jobs that put people back
    to work. The programs were identified by their
    abbreviations and referred to as alphabet soup.
  • Although the Pacific Northwest had a very small
    population and lots of natural resources, it
    needed federal help, too.

The Grand Coulee Dam
  • The biggest New Deal project in Washington was
    the Grand Coulee Dam.
  • A severe drought and high unemployment during the
    Great Depression prompted FDR to approve the
  • More than 12,000 workers were hired to help build
    the dam.
  • The dam is one of the largest concrete structures
    in the world.
  • Even though the dam created thousands of jobs for
    the unemployed, it forced thousands of people
    from their homes to make way for the dam.

Victory for Labor
  • The New Deal created many jobs, but many workers
    still suffered.
  • Wages were low, hours were long, and the
    conditions were dangerous.
  • Much-needed labor reforms came with the passage
    of the National Labor Relations Act.
  • The new law protected workers who joined unions
    and organized strikes.
  • The new law boosted union membership but also
    fueled union rivalries.

Native Americans Get a New Deal
  • In 1887, the Dawes Act was passed to help
    Americanize Indians.
  • FDRs Indian Reorganization Act repealed the
    Dawes Act and encouraged tribal culture and
    tribal government.
  • Because many Washington Indians had married
    outside of their tribes and worked outside of the
    reservation, they did not immediately benefit
    from the Indian Reorganization Act.

The Worst Was Over
  • By 1939, the worst of the Great Depression was
  • Businesses started to open and many people were
    able to work again.
  • People were able to purchase goods and could
    afford food for their families.
  • World War II began and the war ended what was
    left of the Great Depression.

Another World War
  • In Germany, a man named Adolf Hitler was
    determined to conquer Europe.
  • Hitler wanted to rid Germany of people he
    considered inferior, especially Jewish people.
  • Hitler ordered millions of Jews and others to
    concentration camps where many were put to death.
    This mass murder was called the Holocaust.
  • World War II began when Hitlers army invaded
  • Italy and Japan joined Germany. They were called
    the Axis Powers.
  • The Axis Powers fought against the
    AlliesEngland, France, and the Soviet Union.
  • The United States joined the Allies when the
    Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7,

Wartime Economic Boom
  • The war brought economic prosperity to the United
    States. There were war-related jobs for everyone.
  • Aluminum production became the states great new
    war industry.
  • The Kaiser Shipbuilding Company supplied the U.S.
    military with aircraft carriers.
  • Washingtons Boeing plants built thousands of
    bombers used in the air war against Germany and

Building the Atom Bomb
  • The United States began the secret Manhattan
    Project to develop the atom bomb before the
    Germans could do it.
  • Hanford, Washington, was the site of one of the
    secret projects research facilities.
  • Most of the workers in Hanford didnt know what
    they were building.
  • The world discovered the secrets of Hanford when
    America dropped the atomic bombs on Japan to end
    the war.

Relocation of Japanese-Americans
  • Pearl Harbors attack was such a surprise that
    many people thought Japanese-Americans might be
    helping Japan.
  • The government ordered all persons of Japanese
    ancestry living on the West Coast to relocate to
    special camps.
  • Many Japanese-Americans lost their homes and
    businesses as a result.
  • They spent the war surrounded by barbed wire and
    armed guards.
  • Gordon Hirabayashi was one of the few
    Japanese-Americans to challenge relocation.
  • Congress issued a formal apology to
    Japanese-Americans in 1988.

The War Ends
  • President Roosevelt died suddenly in April 1945
    from a stroke.
  • Less than a month later, Germany surrendered,
    ending the war in Europe, but war in the Pacific
    was still raging.
  • The new president, Harry S. Truman, weighed his
    options for ending the war with Japan.
  • Truman decided to drop an atomic bomb on
    Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb killed thousands and
    flattened the city.
  • When Japan refused to surrender, Truman decided
    to drop a second bomb. The second bomb devastated
    the city of Nagasaki.
  • Japan had no choice but to surrender. The war was
    finally over.

War Brings Social Change
  • The war transformed Seattle into an industrial
    center and brought a lot of new people to the
    state, including African Americans and Mexicans.
  • Many white people resented the invasion of
  • The Bracero Program allowed Mexican men to work
    in the United States during the war as temporary
    farm laborers.
  • The role of women changed forever as a result of
    both world wars.
  • Women took over at home and in the workplace.
    They helped in all branches of the military. Some
    even worked as spies!
  • The number of women in the labor force grew 110
    percent during the war years.
  • After the war, a womans place was no longer just
    in the home. Women began to challenge their
    traditional roles.
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