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Canadian Theme Unit
The Great Depression



The Great Depression
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.31

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    saskatchewan, unionize, unemployment, resolution, unmarried, cultural, response, entertainment, mining, endure, camps, market, economy, emulate, government, advantage
     content words:    Great Depression, United States, British Columbia, Mackenzie King, Prime Minister, Richard Bennett, After President Roosevelt, New Deal, Liberal Party, Canadian Radio Broadcasting Company


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The Great Depression
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1      This soup kitchen in Montreal in 1931 fed many unemployment victims.
 
2     What do you know about the Great Depression? Many people think it started in Canada the same time it started in the United States. Some think it started earlier.
 
3     For most people, the Great Depression began when the stock market collapsed late in 1929. In some Canadian provinces, signs of depression had begun more than a year before.
 
4     In the Maritimes, unemployment was already high, and the economy was slow.
 
5     There was little industry, so the crash didn't make things much worse.
 
6     In the West, the market for wheat fell sharply. Farmers couldn't even get the cost of growing the grain from the price that was offered. That didn't include having money left over to pay taxes, loans, or to feed families. The Western wheat farmers were hurt worst of all.
 
7     British Columbia was not hurt so badly. They had some industry, in addition to fishing, mining, timber, and fruit farming, to help employ their people. Even so, times were tough wherever people turned.
 
8     When the Great Depression began, Mackenzie King was Prime Minister of Canada. People looked to the government for help. King was sure that the economy would level off on its own. He did not think the government should be involved. It was the job of charities to take care of people. Things didn't get better; in fact, they got much worse.
 
9     It got so bad that one in three people was out of work. Prices dropped, but few people had the money to take advantage of it.

Paragraphs 10 to 19:
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