Life in canada during the great depression

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life in canada during the great depression

The Great Depression: 1929-1939 by Pierre Berton

Over 1.5 million Canadians were on relief, one in five was a public dependant, and 70,000 young men travelled like hoboes. Ordinary citizens were rioting in the streets, but their demonstrations met with indifference, and dissidents were jailed. Canada emerged from the Great Depression a different nation.

The most searing decade in Canadas history began with the stock market crash of 1929 and ended with the Second World War. With formidable story-telling powers, Berton reconstructs its engrossing events vividly: the Regina Riot, the Great Birth Control Trial, the black blizzards of the dust bowl and the rise of Social Credit. The extraordinary cast of characters includes Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who praised Hitler and Mussolini but thought Winston Churchill one of the most dangerous men I have ever known; Maurice Duplessis, who padlocked the homes of private citizens for their political opinions; and Tim Buck, the Communist leader who narrowly escaped murder in Kingston Penitentiary.

In this #1 best-selling book, Berton proves that Canadas political leaders failed to take the bold steps necessary to deal with the mass unemployment, drought and despair. A child of the era, he writes passionately of people starving in the midst of plenty.
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Published 13.04.2019

Canada Between Two World Wars

The Great Depression in Canada

Enter keyword s to search for the articles,events,business listing and community content. You can use letters:a-z,A-Z and numbers The Great Depression devastated many economies. But one country arguably suffered more than any other: Canada. By the time its economy reached bottom in , Canada had suffered a staggering decline of No other developed nation was as hard-hit.

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available. The Great Depression was ushered in by the stock market crash of October 29, It ended as dramatically a decade later on September 3, , when the Second World War began. The widespread poverty and suffering during the s—the result of unemployment, drought and lack of a social safety net—transformed social welfare in Canada.


Signing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. Economists still debate whether a specific event, such as the Wall Street stock market crash , sparked the Great Depression. However, there is consensus that the Depression was the result of widespread drops in world commodity prices and sudden declines in economic demand and credit.

Beginning on Black Tuesday, October 29, , when the value of the New York stock market fell dramatically, and ending in , the Great Depression was a time when Canadians suffered unprecedented levels of poverty due to unemployment. The unemployment rate was approximately 30 per cent and one in five Canadians depended on government relief for survival. The extent and duration of unemployment during these years rapidly exhausted the ability of volunteer organizations and municipal and provincial governments to relieve the suffering of the unemployed and their dependants, prompting public demands for the federal government to solve the problem through make-work projects, increased spending and intervention in formerly strictly provincial jurisdictions such as social services. The breadth and depth of human misery resulting from the Great Depression and the creative responses it prompted in individuals are vividly described in letters recounting how families bartered food in exchange for medical services. Strikers from unemployment relief camps established by the federal government in British Columbia and Ontario on their way to Ottawa to complain about camp conditions, Their journey was stopped in Regina.

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