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3. The Crisis in the Countryside
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about how the Great Depression played out for people living in farms and in rural communities – which was about half the population at this time. In particular, we focus on: (i) the two problems facing farmers: the collapse in food prices, and the fact that many had taken out loans to purchase additional land and/or machinery; (ii) the extent to which farmers' attempts to grow their way out of the problem only made the problem worse (by flooding the market and further reducing prices); (iii) the extent to which local, rural banks were left vulnerable due to a severe lack of diversity in their loan portfolios; (iv) the knock-on effect on those parts of the economy that relied on farmers, e.g. manufacturers of light machinery; and (v) the lack of any kind of support network for farmers.
In this course, Professor Peter Fearon (University of Leicester) explores the economic downturn and financial crisis in the United States in the period 1929-33. In the first module, we think about the origins of the economic downturn, including the Wall Street crash of October-November 1929. In the second module, we think about the key features of the economic and financial collapse, focusing in particular on the collapse of the baking sector, before turning in the third module to consider how the crisis played out for people living in farms and rural communities. Finally, in the fourth module, we think about support networks were available for those caught up in the Great Depression.
Professor Peter Fearon is Emeritus Professor of Modern Economic and Social History at the University of Leicester. His research interests centre on economic change in the United States in the 20th century, agricultural history of the mid-West in the 1920s and 1930s and the New Deal economic and social policies.
Cite this Lecture
Fearon, P. (2021, March 19). The Great Depression, 1929-33 - The Crisis in the Countryside [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-great-depression-1929-33/the-crisis-in-the-countryside
Fearon, Peter. "The Great Depression, 1929-33 – The Crisis in the Countryside." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 19 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-great-depression-1929-33/the-crisis-in-the-countryside