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USA: 1919-1932 - The Wall Street Crash And The Depression
The only benefit the unemployed in America could rely upon came from charities rather than the government.

USA: 1919-1932 - The Wall Street Crash And The Depression

One part of GCSE History is the history of the USA between 1840 and 1975. The 1920s is one aspect of this topic looked at in great detail. This is the third of three quizzes on 1920s America and it looks in particular at the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which led to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Wall Street was the centre of finance in the USA but when the New York Stock Exchange spiralled out of control in October 1929, investors saw the price of shares crash to new lows and many small investors were ruined. The immediate effects included bank closures, reduced production and factory closures - leading to a massive rise in unemployment and the start of the Great Depression.

Discover more about the Wall Street crash and the Great Depression in this quiz.

What name is given in stock exchange parlance to a period of sustained share price rises?
A bull market
A pork barrel market
A bear market
An ox market
In 1929 share speculation intensified, but at the first sign of mass selling, panic set in. Prices crashed as investors struggled to sell their shares
The New York Stock Exchange had seen prices rise tenfold over the past nine months. What is the New York share index called?
The Dow Jones
The Nikkei
The Han Seng
The share index is calculated on a daily basis, and normally it would gain or lose a small figure each day
President Herbert Hoover urged patience and foresaw the US economy returning to its recent prosperity. Above all he refused to let the state intervene in the crisis. His personal homespun recommendation consisted of two words: what were they?
Rugged Individualism
Free Markets
Robust Capitalism
Hoover believed that it was best to leave well alone, and that things would sort themselves out independently
Hoover did, however, support a tariff measure introduced in 1930 to Congress by two Republicans who gave their names to the Act. What was it called?
The Stogumber-Wallace Tariff
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff
The Morse-Wainright Tariff
The Harding-Coolidge Tariff
Hoover hoped to discourage foreign exports so that domestic industry could sell to the home market without undue competition
What were "Hoovervilles"?
Brand new federal housing for the unemployed, initiated by Hoover
Shacks erected by the homeless unemployed, to draw attention to their plight
A name conjured by Democrats to describe the leafy suburbs of US cities, largely inhabited by Republican voters
New housing provided by the governors of Democrat-controlled states
Hoover learnt that his name would grace projects whether he was responsible for them or not
On what forms of benefit could unemployed people depend?
Federal handouts
Handouts from the state where they lived
Handouts from charities like the Salvation Army
A scheme run by the US Army for Great War veterans
Few unemployed people had much confidence that their needs would be met
In 1932 Hoover relented further by approving the Emergency Relief and Reconstruction Act, which provided $300 million to deal with distress. To which body were applicants told to apply?
The Federal Government in Washington
The state where they lived
The local Episcopalian Church authorities
The local police force
By this time perhaps, Hoover was beginning to realise that the situation was more serious than he had thought
How many unemployed were there in the US at the worst point in the Depression?
13 million
10 million
6 million
8 million
Multiply this figure by 4 or 5, and you get some idea of the total number of people caught up in the situation
In 1932 General MacArthur was ordered to disperse camps set up by Bonus Marchers in Washington. What bonus were the marchers seeking?
A payment to unemployed men over 50 authorised by the local state governor
A payment promised by Congress to army veterans from the Great War
A normal payment for which ex-bankers were eligible
A payment to which people who had been continuously unemployed for more than four years were entitled. Provided by the Federal Government
MacArthur believed that the marches were organised by the American Communist Party, and he cleared their encampments with a certain enthusiasm
Another of Hoover's eventual interventions to ease conditions in the Depression was the use of the Federal Farm Board. What did the Board attempt to do under his presidency?
Stabilise prices, promote the sale of agricultural products and provide storage space for any surplus
Repay existing farmers' loans
Offer interest free loans to enable farmers to expand their landholdings
Purchase farms at an agreed price, thus allowing farmers wanting to leave the land to do so
The farm problem had been a severe one since before the Crash. Here again, Hoover was relenting under great pressure
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - The USA: A nation of contrasts, 1910-1929

Author:  Edward Towne

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