Tractors of the New Deal

Learn about the great depression and the tractors that made a world of difference throughout the era and into the new deal.

| January 2020


Period of rapid technological innovation collides with crippling global financial meltdown.

Few today remember the Great Depression or had first-hand experience with the trauma it caused. Fewer still remember the Dust Bowl of the American and Canadian prairies. Just over 90 years ago, in 1929, prosperity disappeared in a single October afternoon when the stock market crashed. The crash ushered in the Great Depression, and business in this country ground to a stop.

Farm auction in the 1930s. Photo courtesy The Ann Arbor News.

Some of us, however, remember President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who took office in 1933, because he remained in office until he died in 1945 – just 75 years ago. What younger generations may not remember, however, is that FDR (as Roosevelt was known) was elected president of the U.S. by promising America, “a new deal.” Not everyone was convinced that FDR’s New Deal was the solution to the grave situation America (and, indeed the world) found itself in as a result of the Great Depression, but because enough did, he was swept into office.

Photo courtesy Library of Congress

Perfect storm of calamities compounded impact of the Great Depression

The roots of the Great Depression can be traced back as far as 1862, when Congress passed the Homestead Act. Signed into law by Abraham Lincoln to encourage Western migration, the act offered 160 acres of free land in the southern Great Plains. Several land rushes occurred as sections of land were opened on a first-come, first-served basis.


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