The Rise Of Non Traditional Political Parties During The Depression History/Grade 12 Essay

1387 words - 6 pages

The Rise Of New Political Parties
In the 1930s the Depression hit Canada. Unemployment skyrocketed as did living expenses; this caused Canadians to fall into poverty. The economical struggles Canadians faced demanded a change. The people decided if the government would not create change, they would create it for themselves. The citizens formed parties, chose leaders who would listen and hoped for a difference. This led to the 1930s being an era for the rise of non-traditional political parties because people in Alberta wanted the government to pay them a social dividend, citizens wanted to redistribute wealth and Quebec wanted political reform.
The people of Alberta wanted the government to pay them a social dividend because of the economical hardships and the high cost of living, which led to the creation of the Social Credit Party. Many issues such as drought, grasshopper infestation of crops, wind storms and fires ruined most of Alberta. The land was barren, and could not collect rain.[footnoteRef:0] The farmers were suffering, as well as the people who needed to be provided with crops. Agriculture was the largest source of income for the economy, now it was unable to do its job, and the government could not give money to help regrow the farming industry. The people needed someone to help, someone to create change. Furthermore, farmers had increased their holdings, which led to them losing much when the banks called in their loans, and foreclosed their mortgages.[footnoteRef:1] These farmers now were out of jobs, and a home, yet still needed to find out a way to payback their loans. The answer to their debt problem was social credit. The benefits would not only repay the debts, the farmers would replenish their land, and this idea of social credit would cure the Depression. Having the government pay citizens twenty five dollars monthly would allows Albertans to lift themselves out of the Depression.[footnoteRef:2] To quote William Aberhart, “‘You remain in the Depression because of a shortage of purchasing power imposed by the banking system.’” [footnoteRef:3] William, the leader of the Social Credit Party believed that having citizens be paid would create a chain effect that would bring the economy out of the Depression. If someone was able to buy food the grocery store would reopen, the vendors for the store would have to go back to work and so on. People’s lives were ruined, and the Social Credit Party provided hope and gained many followers. It became a large political party even though they never delivered on their main campaign promise. Although, the Social Credit Party could not help Canada in the way it needed, other parties would rise to help make a difference. [0: University of Alberta, The Depression Years (1930 - 1938), (University of Alberta, 2008)] [1: University of Alberta, The Depression Years (1930 - 1938),...

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