Professor Irina V. Nowak
CONTEMPORARY US HISTORY
“PROGRESSIVE ERA THROUGH THE GREAT DEPRESSION”
August 3, 2013
The Great Depression was an era in the American history that so many people would wish to forget. The 1920s saw the country going through various phases of poverty resulting from the crash of the stock market, job losses, collapsing of businesses in all industries in the country. The Great Depression was like no other crisis the country faced, it was never ending and there was suffering everywhere especially among the poor.
There were three major factors that contributed significantly to the Great ...view middle of the document...
There was much exploitation of the already short resources.
The cities in the United States of America became crowded with an influx of poor laborers trying to find jobs even though working conditions were horrendous to say the least. One factor that stood out in the Great Depression was the corruption in Politics from the lowest level to the upper echelon of society.
This period in the 1890s was describes as the ‘reckless decade’ where reform was being sought by the Populist Party consisting of farmers, small business men and other reform-minded leaders who felt that there was strength in numbers and were willing to confront the problems of the great Depression. By 1917 the Populist Party had most of their concerns addressed by the Federal Government.
It was during the period that the Progressive movement was initiated to address not only the severe economic changes being experienced by the country but also the social changes as well. This movement literally forced the government to step up to deal with the problems that seemed to be increasing.
This gave rise to what was described in America as the Progressive Era which began in 1896, before America entered World War I in 1917. It was widely believed that the career of then President Franklin Roosevelt began during the Progressive Era, and it was on this basis that most of his ideas relating to his ‘New Deal Programs’ were based. www.academicamerica.com
The Great Depression which lasted from 1929 - 1939 was considered the longest and deepest economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. The recovery period under the backing of President Roosevelt, saw the implementation of several plans in an effort to put the country and the economy back on the road to recovery.
The most important plan of President Roosevelt was the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) which initiated programs to regulate the various industries, establish labor rights and at the same time improve the terrible working conditions. The NIRA was also instrumental in initiating a forty hour work week with a minimum weekly wage and most importantly banned child labor which was popular at the time.
There was also the case of relief offered through the Emergency Banking Relief Act which became effective on March 9, 1933 came as assistance to the banks where the Federal Government stepped in and took control of the banks, in order to ultimately build trust and help the citizens who were afraid to put their money in the banks.
Looking at America today and taking...