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The Great Depression 1929-33: A Sources Assignment

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Introduction

The Great Depression 1929-33: A Sources Assignment Question 1: Source A is an election poster published by the Democratic Party during the Depression. It is a cynical portrayal, mocking the Republican Party's beliefs. It implies that their policies have no foundations by telling people to smile and hope the Depression will go away, 'This wonderful little gadget will solve the problems of the Nation'. It also says 'WARNING - Do not risk Federal arrest by looking glum'. This is a subtle, sardonic reference to the Bonus Marchers, who had fought in the First World War and who, in May 1932 marched to demand immediate payment of the bonus they had been promised by the government. The quote from the poster refers to the way the government put down the protesters by arresting people and using violence. This poster gives us evidence about the beliefs of the Democratic Party and the methods employed by it to gain support. However, as the poster is a piece of propaganda and aims to persuade people to support their party it is biased and opinionated. This means that it may be over exaggerated for effect and comedy value. The truth may have been stretched to make a joke of it and win people's support. ...read more.

Middle

It was created in October 1929 (at the time of the Wall Street crash) and was probably painted by someone with direct experience of the Crash. However it is quite an abstract painting, which different people may interpret in different ways. Source E is a set of statistics showing the changes in the price of shares of leading US companies between September and November 1929. They seem to be quite accurate as to the general change in prices but they are 'from official figures' which means their accuracy depends on the accuracy of the figures from which they are compiled. These figures could have been adjusted to support an argument, and they lack detail that may improve their reliability. I think that Source E is more useful to a historian studying the Wall Street Crash because the statistics are more factual. There is very little factual information supplied by Source D and its usefulness could depend on the historian's interpretation of the painting. However the statistics although not completely sound are more reliable and useful as evidence because they are factual. Question 4 Source E is from a popular song of 1932. It tells of how the protagonist thought he was 'building a dream' on the way to 'peace and glory' for his country but he is now standing in the bread line. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source D does not tell us anything about the poorer people as it does not distinguish between the rich and the poor. Source E also does not give much of idea about the suffering of the poor, as statistics do not go into enough detail to tell us this. Source F probably says the most about poor people. The person who wrote the song tells us about waiting in line for bread and begging for money. I do not think that the poor suffered most as a result of the Great Depression because the people who were already poor did not have much to loose. If they were very poor before the Depression, the Depression had little or no effect on them. I think that the people who suffered the most were the working classes who had worked hard all their lives and earned their money. They lost the most during the Wall Street Crash, because the Rich did not loose enough to affect them and the poor lost nothing at all. Therefore I think that it was not the poor but the working classes who suffered the most because they lost what they had worked their whole lives for. Name: Sarah Shea Candidate Number: Centre: Nonsuch High School Centre Number: 14723 Syllabus: SEG syllabus B Examination Session: 2001 ...read more.

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