From 1929 to 1939 the stock market had crashed sending the United States into a state of crisis known as The Great Depression. Along with the stock market, the economy had went to the lowest it could be which caused many families to starve and live on the streets. The questions that are not that commonly answered are: what happened in Tennessee to help solve the issue? What did the government help do during the USs time of need, or how did Tennesseans keep positive during these times? In order to answer these questions we must first understand what had happened in Tennessee during the Great Depression. Understanding this highly important in order to know why the changes that were made were important and are still important to this day.
Now, what happened during the Great Depression that need to be fixed. There were many different events that had made life harder than it already was, some caused by the United States government. The first thing to effect Tennessee was the collapse of Caldwell and Company, which was Tennessees largest bank. Shortly after the collapsing of Caldwell and Company many smaller banks and institutions had collapsed due to being funded mostly by Caldwell and Company. This collapsion had caused Tennessee to lose over seven million dollars. Not only were the banks heavily affected, but the depression had also affected both urban and rural areas of Tennessee causing the most hardships on farmers. Farmers had to deal with a crashed economy and increase tax, fortunately Tennessee wasnt touched by the Dust Bowl which devastated crops and homes of those in its range. Needless to say, but Tennessee needed help, and fast. However, this would cause something to happen that has never happened to Tennessee.
During this desperate time people were highly discourage from poverty and famine and an uncertain future. Around this time something new would make an appearance to help ease the minds of those in the south, and that is country music along with jazz. The entire nation also got to enjoy the first dialogue films, which at the time were referred as talkies. These shows did more than help ease people’s minds with laughter, they even helped the economy since they all werent free. The first of them was a show called Modern Times, the show had shined a comic light on everyday struggles that factory workers had to go through. Though minor, but this show had allowed them to laugh at their struggles. These small things have helped the citizens of Tennessee get through the dark times of the Great Depression, and made most people believe that Tennessee could get through The Depression.
What was happening around the nation, and how did it aid Tennessee? In 1933, four years after this had started, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had begun his presidential campaign. Roosevelt had promised a new set of laws that would get all of America out of poverty and restore the economy to a new glory. These laws would better welfare for farmers, factory workers, and other poverty stricken demographics. There are five acts that had the most notable effect: Reforestation Relief Act (RRA), The Federal Emergency Relief Act , The Tennessee Valley Authority Act (TVA), The Glass-Steagall Act (GSA), and the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act (ERA). Both the RRA and The Federal Emergency Relief Act and the ERA had provided jobs to many young men, the RRA is more community work while The Federal Emergency Relief Act is more government based and the ERA had focussed on more government buildings. The TVA act had started to use the power from the rivers that powered most parts of Tennessee and even small parts of surrounding states. The GSA was originally titled the Banking Act of 1933 has refined the responsibilities of both commercial banks and investment banks and acted as an emergency financial response. The biggest help for Tennessee leaving the Great Depression was, weirdly enough, the arrival of world war two (WWII). Goods such as cotton, wheat, and aluminium were highly sought for, and all three are a giant part of Tennessees economy.
There are many ways that Tennessee had been impacted during this depressing time, all of which had a greater impact on all of the United States. Tennessee had affected how people kept cheer, jobs and even how the government had impacted Tennessee. These methods that had been asked and answered had helped everyone during The Great Depression and even the future. On a personal note, I had learned a lot doing research for this essay, and hopefully this has answered the smaller, minor questions that not many people ask.
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