20th Century Depression
Photograph - Fusion Photography
It was mostly our parents and grandparents or even great grandparents that lived through what has been called 'The Great Depression'. However what we are living through currently has some resemblance to what happened then, albeit a small resemblance. Wikepedia writes: 'The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in 1930 and lasted until the late 1930s or middle 1940s. It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world's economy can decline. The depression originated in the U.S., after the fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday). The Great Depression had devastating effects in countries rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as cash cropping, mining and logging suffered the most. Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. In many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the end of World War II. There are some who say we are only a heartbeat away from a similar scenerio based on what may occur in Europe in the next several years and the level of debt incurred by the U.S. The political result of the depression was an increase in government spending and institutions of regulations on the banking and investment industry. Farm production was cut and the minimum wage was raised. Social Security was initiated. It should be appreciated that there was another downturn in the economy in 1937, but it was not nearly as bad. However it did deepen the Great Depression. Literature coming out of the 30's focused on the downtrodden. Art on the worker. I present a composite of images taken from a weekly series published out of Canada for 75 cents in 1969 called 'History of the 20th Century' which focused on the Depression: society politics, and literature. I have used a style that mimics plate lithography printmaking.
January 19th, 2013
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