Chapter Twenty-Seven: The 1930's and the Great Depression
In this lecture you learn about the most heart-wrenching decade in our history, the calamitous, and formative, decade of the 1930's, which included the Great Depression, of course, but also included much more. Like the Roaring Twenties that preceded it, the decade of the 1930's was one of contradictions. Never were so many Americans hungry, homeless, and destitute while so many other Americans enjoyed so much leisure and luxury. Never had an economic depression not corrected itself in the past, yet this one would not do so. Never had so magical a wizard of recovery been at the helm of the ship of state as President Hoover was known to be, yet even he could not steer the country back into the placid waters of prosperity. It was truly a puzzlement, and you will discover why. You will also discover what Franklin Roosevelt, Hoover's genial and ebullient successor in the White House, planned to do pull the country out of the Great Depression, though he did not have a clue about what was actually required to get the job done. When FDR was finally finished eight years later you will know how well he succeeded, and what his “magic sauce” was that finally kicked the Great Depression off the front page of the daily newspaper and put it in the book of American history where it belonged. You will, of course, also learn about the obstacles FDR encountered on the way: the climatic catastrophe of the Dust Bowl which displaced millions of mid-west farmers, the decade-long drought that devastated the country's bread basket, the legions of FDR's political enemies who thought he was a communist working to undermine the country's most fundamental traditions, and the rise of the dictators in Europe and Asia whose repressive regimes would eventually make the United States the world's only remaining bastion of freedom and democracy if their cancerous military conquests were not stopped in time. How could Roosevelt, and the American people, possibly manage all of these unprecedented challenges simultaneously? The survival of the the country was on the line at home, and the survival of freedom and democracy was at risk all over the world. It was “make or break” time in America in the 1930's. In this lecture you will learn how Americans rose to the challenge, came through the most devastating economic calamity in their history, and prepared to put themselves back onto the stage of power politics as a world-class player. This file is 2 hr. in length and 110 MB in size. You may download it twice. Give it plenty of time to do so.