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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 ... – 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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