The Great Depression, United States, the New Deal, American farmers, Mexican immigrants, the Repatriation Act, WPA
The Great Depression, which lasted from 1929-1941, was an extremely important time period in the history of the United States. During this period, major demographic, economic, cultural, and even architectural changes took place. During the Great Depression, various of groups within the United States resettled in order to search for work, immigrants were often sent back to their countries of origin, unemployment rates were at an all time high, and New Deal initiatives were taken, which created various new buildings and public projects.
[...] When that stock market crashed in 1929, the Great Depression officially began. During this upheaval, many companies went out of business and this resulted in a major economic downturn. To add to the economic problems, many states in the heart of the United States were experiencing droughts, and farmers were unable to produce marketable food products. This situation led to major migrations from states such as Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Nuget writes, “Reeling from drought in the early 1930's, they refused to accept the government's declaration that their area was ‘submarginal' and that they should relocate. [...]
[...] In many of these deportations, Mexicans who were actually born in the U.S. and never spent a day in Mexico were unfairly forced into back into their country along with immigrants, whereas other Mexicans decided to leave on their own initiative—before the government forced them to do so on their own terms. A similar initiative was taken with other immigrant groups, such as Filipinos; the Tydings-McDuffie Act a quota of fifty immigrants a which was followed by a new Repatriation Act to send Filipinos back to their native country (p. [...]
[...] Although many of these New Deal policies and initiatives were very helpful in stimulating the economy and giving people jobs, it wasn't until the beginning of World War II that the economy went through a major transformation. Nuget writes that the “Wartime accelerated what was already happening in the West, rather than divert the region along wholly new lines” (p. 255). When the war began and factories started producing war materials, the economy took off, and the Great Depression officially ended. References McElvaine, Robert S. The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941. New York: Times Books Print. [...]
[...] But record heat in the summer of 1936 forced flood' of out-migration” (p. 247). Most of these migrants moved West to states such as California and Oregon in hopes of finding employment. While many of the states around the Dust Bowl area were being depopulated, Western states were receiving migrants and the population in states such as California soared. Nuget tells us that as many as 975,000 Americans arrived to California during the 1930's, that during this time many people moved from farms to cities, and “American farms lost, net, more than 500,000” (p.244). [...]
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