Great Depression Double Journal Entry

I observed single men working in relief camps, and countless people trying to seek employment. I also observed absurd cutbacks such as the Bennett Buggy and unfortunate racial discrimination.

Two men seeking employment

The first picture made me think of the poor conditions that were a reality during The Great Depression. The two family men are desperately searching for jobs with likely no success, this made me consider how difficult the poor conditions of the depression were and how they affected the 27% of unemployed Canadians in the worst years of the depression.

In my opinion this was a terrible time for the unemployment, getting work became a matter of luck and educational achievements that they worked hard for became irrelevant.

"By 1930, 30% of the labour force was out of work, and one fifth of the population became dependent on government assistance."

The statistical quote reminded me of one of the largest changes and legacies that resulted from the depression. The quote mentions how one fifth of Canadians were dependant on the government, which for the time, was a new concept. Since the Depression this has become more and more common with things like health care, welfare, and general control in industries such as banks.

In my opinion this is both good and bad, it provides support for many individuals and families which is obviously great, but in some ways (such as government control of bank facilities) it takes power away from the people and from small businesses.

Work in relief camps

The second picture further emphasizes the control factor; Relief camps were set up (by the government) to remove single men (anyone who didn't support a family) from the cities so family men could be employed. The camps ran well structured days of work and were kept in far away areas, often in the wilderness. This further contributed to the legacy of the government being more involved in our lives, by stepping in to try and fix things when the people simply can't.

In my personal opinion these camps really helped, they provided decent jobs to family men and the single men as well.

Bennett Buggy

The third picture further exemplifies how poor the country became and displayed a popular cut back. The "Bennett Buggy" were cars that were to expensive to run in the Depression so people would use them as horse buggies.

I think this shows how ridiculously desperate and poor things became throughout the depression.

A black and white man sitting on the curb

The fourth picture shows a black man and a white man sitting on a curb, although this doesn't directly indicate anything about the discrimination of the Depression, it surely reminded me of it. The Great Depression hit all groups of people hard, but it hit coloured people the hardest, at the toughest of times more than half of African Americans found themselves unemployed.

I can only imagine how hard it would have been to try and seek employment when you are considered lesser to everyone else.

Dust storms on the prairies

The fifth picture shows one of many dust storms the Depression hosted among the prairies. Dust storms were one of many factors that ensured farmers did not prosper in the 1930's.

This reminded me of economic issues farmers faced, especially in Saskatchewan. When other countries started taxing grain imports to protect their own farmers. This resulted in a terrible price drop which harshly affected the farmers of Canada. A bushel of wheat could be sold for as little as 35 cents in 1932, as a result many farmers went bankrupt or even abandoned their farms.

Reaction Conclusion

It's amazing to think that a time even as catastrophic as The Great Depression had it's own legacies, legacies that would go on to shape a future and our modern world. It must have been a terrible hell-on-earth experience at the time, one can only imagine, but in the end and beyond that it's changes made out for an optimistic future.

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