Between the 1920s and 1930s, America was hit by the Great Depression which was an international financial crisis. Millions of Americans were jobless leading to economic devastation. The devastation led to massive unemployment and food insecurity. The nation was scoured to an extensive search of employment as people stood in breadlines. During this period, the Republican government which was in power experienced various problems. This essay will explore the multiple issues that faced the nation socially, economically and politically.
One of the problems was the Wall Street crash in 1929. The conflict destabilized the banking sector in the U.S leading to a loss of livelihood and net worth for many individuals. In a bid to combat this crisis, the Republican government came up with conservative strategies to trigger economic growth. He applied the laissez-faire principle which believed in minimal government control to empower businesses and thus stabilize the nation’s economy.
Another problem was the resistance of the new deal. During the period, over 25 percent of the American population was unemployed forcing the nation to an extraordinary jobless rate. Additionally, another 25 percent of the American citizens have their wages and hours cut. This means that in a ratio of one out two households in America was either underemployed or unemployed. To curb this problem, the republican government established the New Deal initiative which increased the national expenditure drastically to improve the unemployment crisis and raise the American spending capacity and power. The action came up with programs such as the Works Progress Administration which employed over 8 million people to work on public parks and roads (Bernanke).
The republican government also experienced the problem of race relations. At this point, the nation saw discrimination and racism against the African Americans reach the climax. Despite the job insecurities facing most people, over half of the African Americans were unemployed. Racial hatred towards the blacks became intense due to the economic uncertainties. Some white Americans in the North campaigned for the firing of the blacks from jobs because the whites were unemployed. The South also had intense racial violence against the African Americans (Rothbard).
There was also the problem of American isolation. During the crisis, American focused more of its attention on domestic concerns and took some time off the war brewing in other nations. While Italy, Japan, and Nazi Germany conquered and gained the power of other countries outside their borders, America expressed its concerns. As a response to Japan’s invasion of Chinese territory, the Republican government formulated the Stimson Doctrine of 1932 stating that America could not recognize regions seized by force violating the international treaty (Bernanke).
The Chinese cultural transformation was a long, torturous and complicated process which is yet to see its conclusion up to date. Previous studies on China’s cultural and intellectual history have taken into account this issue to some degree. However, there has been a couple of broad-ranging, focused and systematic research studies. In the areas of literature during the New Culture Movement, the mainly vernacular replaced the literary writing. Lu Xun was the person who primarily bought this. He was first China’s major stylist in colloquial prose as well as the real reformers Chen Duxiu and Hu Shi.
The period between the 1920s and the 1930s marked an era of creativity in literary journals and Chinese fiction as well as the societies exhibiting various artistic concepts proliferated. There were different renowned writers including Guo Moruo who was an essayist, a historian, a poet and a critic. There was also Mao Dun who was the first novelist emerging from the League of Left-Wing Writers and whose work was a reflection of the revolutionary struggle and the disillusionment that took place in the late 1920s. There was a novelist by the name Ba Jin. Most of his works was an inspiration by Ivan Turgenev among other writers. Ba Jin produced a trilogy in the 1930s which were inspired by the struggle of the modern youth against the ago old dominance of the Confucian family structure (Douw, Huang and Ip).
The vibrancy in intellectuality and culture continued even during the Post-Mao period. The detainment of Jiang Qing among other Gang of Four members as well as the establishment of the reforms at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh National Party Congress Committee prompted all writers across all ages to take up their pens again. Most of the writers focused their works on the severe abuses of power and leadership that were prominent at both the local and national levels during the Cultural Revolution. Other than lamenting the injuries that held China back, the writers also decried the time and talent wastage during the period (Douw, Huang and Ip).
During the same time, the writers showed eagerness to make contributions in the building of the Chinese society. The literature often referred to as the literature of the wounded included some of the disquieting opinions of the party as well as the political system. Due to their intense patriotism, the writers wrote cynical pieces of the political leadership leading to the rise of the extreme conflicts and violence of the Cultural Revolution. To some, the entire generation of leaders was to blame together with the political system of the nation. The political leaders and authorities were faced with a critical challenge. Their primary concern was how they could discourage and discredit the writers to making critics and disproves on the abuses of the Cultural Revolution without permitting the criticism to extend past what they viewed and perceived as tolerable limits. These were among the factors that led to the cultural and intellectual excitement in China (Douw, Huang and Ip).
Bernanke, Ben S. Essays On The Great Depression. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Print.
Douw, Leo, Cen Huang, and David Ip. Rethinking Chinese Transnational Enterprises. Independence: Taylor and Francis, 2013. Print.
Rothbard, Murray N. America’s Great Depression. Auburn, Alabama: Mises Institute, 2000. Print.