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The Great Depression
Glossary and Terms
History >> The Great Depression
AAA - AAA stands for the Agricultural Adjustment Act. This law paid farmers to not plant certain crops in order to raise prices.
Bank holiday - A time when President Roosevelt shut down the banks from March 6 to March 13 in 1933 in order to stabilize the banking system.
Black Tuesday - October 24, 1929 when the stock market crashed ushering in the start of the Great Depression.
Black Sunday - The name given to Sunday April 14, 1936 when a huge dust storm engulfed much of the Midwest.
Bonus Army - The name given to 20,000 World War I veterans who marched on Washington in 1932 demanding their bonus pay from the government.
CCC - CCC stands for the Civilian Conservation Corps. This was a government work relief program that gave unemployed people jobs working on environmental projects.
Deflation - A decrease in the general price level of goods and services.
Depression - A depression in economics is when there is a long-term downturn in economic activity. A depression is like an extremely long and harsh recession.
Dust Bowl - The term "Dust Bowl" refers to both a time and a place. Severe draught in the Midwest during the 1930s turned the soil into dust causing crops to die and dust storms to occur.
Fireside Chats - A series of 30 radio addresses given by President Roosevelt. They started during the Great Depression and continued during WW2.
First Hundred Days - The first one hundred days after President Roosevelt took office. During this time he pushed through 15 major laws designed to help the country recover from the Great Depression.
First New Deal - A number of laws passed between 1933 and 1934. The first series of laws that were part of Roosevelt's New Deal.
Franklin D. Roosevelt - President elected during the Great Depression. He promised the country a "New Deal."
Gold standard - A monetary system where a country's money is backed by an equal amount of gold. The U.S. abandoned this system during the Great Depression.
Herbert Hoover - President when the Great Depression began. Many blamed the Great Depression on Hoover.
Hooverville - A shantytown where homeless people built shacks out of things like scrap wood, cardboard, and tar paper. These towns were named after President Hoover.
Inflation - A general increase in the prices of goods and services.
New Deal - A series of laws introduced by President Roosevelt designed to help poor people, decrease unemployment, and help the country to recover from the Great Depression.
Prohibition - A law that prevented the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages.
Recession - A time of decline in economic activity when the GDP drops for two quarters in a row.
Roaring Twenties - The nickname given to the 1920s when the economy was booming prior to the Great Depression.
Second New Deal - A second series of laws passed between 1935 and 1938 that were a part of President Roosevelt's New Deal.
Share Our Wealth - A movement spearheaded by Huey Long that advocated taking money from the rich and giving it to the government.
Social Security Act - A law that established pensions for the elderly, unemployment insurance, and aid to the disabled.
Soup Kitchen - A place where hungry people could get a free meal.
TVA - TVA stands for Tennessee Valley Authority. It was an agency established to build dams along the Tennessee River.
Unemployment - When someone who wants to work does not have a job. Higher unemployment means more people are out of work.
WPA - WPA stands for the Works Progress Administration. This agency hired over 8 million unemployed to help build things like bridges, roads, airports, and public buildings.
More About the Great Depression
History >> The Great Depression