Informative Essay for Sixth Grade on the Great Depression

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The Great Depression began during the year 1929, when the Canadian stock market crashed, wiping out hundreds of millions of dollars in the span of 4 days. The crash was the beginning of what led to a long decade of misery. There are numerous ways in which Canadian lives have been affected. Canada’s poverty and unemployment rate increased due to the Great Depression. The Great Depression caused a negative impact on Canada’s population causing it to decrease. It also affected the education of many Canadian students. Canada suffered the aftermath of the Great Depression which affected many individuals in social aspects.

Canadians suffered from extreme poverty due to unemployment. After the stock market crash in 1929, many Canadians were left to fend for themselves. Wages were incredibly low and unemployment rates were at their peak causing many people to suffer from poverty. They didn’t call the 1930s the ‘Dirty Thirties’ for no reason. In 1933, Canada’s national unemployment rate was around 30% and varied depending on the province. Windsor, Ontario had one of the highest unemployment rates reaching 50%. Meanwhile, in the Maritime provinces, the unemployment rate for ordinary laborers reached 60%. The reason for the drastic differences in unemployment rates depending on the provinces was whether they were affected by drought or not. Most of the people who were unemployed also were experiencing poverty, causing provinces to have high poverty rates. In the Prairies about 250,000 people left because of a 9-year-long drought that was caused by a lack of rainfall. The soil eventually turned into powder and was carried by the wind throughout the Prairies causing huge storms and dust mountains damaging many structures in its way. On top of that, the extreme heat and the lack of rain created the perfect conditions for grasshoppers to breed. Large amounts of grasshoppers broke out around the Prairies and began eating all the crops that were being grown. The 250,000 people who fled the Prairies included farmers who soon became unemployed. In efforts to try and bring people out of poverty, the Federal government allowed the creation of a system made of unemployment relief camps. The camp's purpose was to provide unemployed Canadian men with residence, a bunkhouse, clothes, three daily meals, medical care, and 20 cents a day. The men were often put to physical labor, however, it was their choice of settling in the relief camps as well as leaving them. The relief camps held 170,248 men. Canadians suffered through severe poverty, unemployment, and low wages due to the great depression and it was a prominent social issue.

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The Great Depression caused Canada’s population to decline, from deported immigrants to declining birth rates. Canada’s population growth had reached an all-time low throughout the 1930s, never reaching more than 17,000 people. The Great Depression also significantly caused Canada’s birth rate to drop from 13.1 live births per 1000 people in 1930 to just 9.7 by 1937. Many people didn’t have enough money to support themselves because of unemployment or their job didn't pay enough to support a child, only a few could afford to maintain a child during the 1930s. The number of immigrants that were accepted into Canada drastically dropped from 169,000 people in 1929 to less than 12,000 in 1935. The reason for the decline was that the government thought that immigrants would take jobs that Canadians deserved. The Canadian government decided to implement restrictions on immigration that only allow specific people who met the criteria to enter Canada. Only people from developed countries, and economically rich countries such as Great Britain, the United States, and other self-governing dominions were allowed to immigrate. Meanwhile, deportations in Canada rose from less than 2,000 people in 1929 to greater than 7,600 people in 1932. Close to 30,000 immigrants were removed from Canada and sent to their country of origin over the course of a decade, the reason for this was mainly unemployment or illness. Due to the Great Depression, Canada’s population decreased dramatically by deporting immigrants and only accepting certain types of people, as well as the birth rate ratio decreased.

The Great Depression negatively affected education in Canada. Due to the lack of money during the Great Depression, the government had to cut costs. One of the areas that suffered from the government's cuts in funds was schools. This resulted in many schools lacking running water, electricity, lanterns, or heated wooden stoves. Saving money meant laying off teachers, postponing mandatory renovations, and increasing classroom sizes. School functioning hours were also reduced and students often didn’t attend school for nine months out of the year as they do currently. Some schools had a single room where one teacher taught all of the grades, this was fairly common in rural areas. The teachers would allow the students to choose the subjects that they wanted to learn, which forced parents to rebel against the progressive classrooms. The parents wanted their children to learn basics such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Life was extremely difficult for students because their families were struggling to survive. To help their family some students dropped out of school to sell newspapers and shiny shoes, as for the students who stayed in school they were forced to wear worn-out clothes and sometimes it would be too embarrassing to come to school. Children who dropped out of school had a harder time finding more skillful jobs, making their lives much more difficult in the future. The Great Depression caused Canadian students and their education to be negatively affected.

Canadians suffered in the aftermath of the Great Depression, many were affected in social aspects. During the Great Depression Canadians were left to fend for themselves; as unemployment rates skyrocketed and many were left in severe poverty. The Canadian population also got affected as immigrants were being deported back to their original country and birth rates crashed. Children were not free from the effects of the Great Depression as education became worse and more students left school to provide aid for their families. The Great Depression was an extremely harsh time to be around, causing nationwide suffering and no mercy for anyone.

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Informative Essay for Sixth Grade on the Great Depression. (2023, November 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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