Canadian Study Of Western Canada Prior To Wwii.

4229 words - 17 pages

Western Canada During The Great Depression:Politics and EconomyOctober 24, 1929 had an immense impact on the Canadian economy that spanned from coast to coast. "Black Tuesday", as it was known, was the seemingly overnight crash of the stock markets of New York, Toronto, Montreal and a vast array of global financial centers. The Canadian prairies were among the transcontinental centers of distress. The burden of the prairies, however, was not solely rooted in the financial devastation of Black Tuesday. The "dirty thirties" were yet another conspirator in the ostensibly endless duress the Canadian prairies faced during the Great Depression. As a result of the economic turmoil of North America, and particularly Western Canada, a cacophony of unbalance erupted. Chaos was present not only in the monetary scheme, but begat, both literally and figuratively, an unruly drought in communal and political matters. Plagues of locust swallowed acres of land, while dust storms made issues far more troublesome. The value of the prairies most precious export plummeted, while many farmers struggled to pay off loans. On the political front several important structures took shape. There was a swap in command that saw the liberal rulings of William Lyon Mackenzie King replaced by the conservative leader of the time, Richard Bennett who, subsequently, produced the formation of the Bank of Canada and the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission. Other adjustments were made in an attempt to promote the sales price of wheat and administer financial support to families, whereas other amendments included criminalizing certain political organizations. The extensive disembowelment of everything familiar to the typical western Canadian resulted in severities unique to the prairies west.The abruptness of the stock market crash of October 24, 1929 came as an unsolicited surprise to the global market. The late 1920s was an era of grandeur both economically and financially for many investors, given that the economy and stock exchanges were boasting with promise. In a span of eight years, from 1921 to 1929, the value of numerous stock prices tripled. Despite the significant signs of current and future prosperity, the economy and universal financial establishments would be hit hard by the unexpected and overwhelming downfall of the stock market. New York, Toronto and Montreal were only a few of the major financial institutions crumbled by the demons of the economy. With impulsive panic investors sold their shares, aspiring to at least break even. The abrupt downfall had, in many cases, literally happened overnight. What was particularly damaging was the lack of caution to indicate any forthcoming malice at all. It is unknown what was the exact cause of Black Tuesday, but many relevant theories have been addressed. These theories range in simplicity, beginning with the argument that the stock market, in basic terms, mirrored the decline in economic activity and general price levels. A...

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