Cinderella Man and the Great Depression Essay

Cinderella Man and the Great Depression Essay.

James J. Braddock once said, ” I have to believe that once things are bad, I have to change them”. The movie Cinderella Man is about Braddock rising from a poor, unsuccessful boxer to the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. The historical background to his life and career was during the same time period as the Great Depression. James Braddock was not always the boxer he is now known to be, in the 1920’s he had lost one third of his fights and people referred to him as a “bum” which is the lowest name you could label a boxer at the time.

Despite a broken hand and the hatred the crowd brought upon him, Braddock never hesitated to do his best on the rink. However, when the Great Depression began, Braddock lost his money, job, and for an amount of time, electricity. Braddock’s character represented the ups and downs that were occurring in the United States at the time. Following his struggles the viewer can get a glimpse of how most Americans lived at the time of the Great Depression, see their everyday battle for food, jobs, shelter, and see how ordinary people coped with the economic downturn.

At the beginning of the movie Braddock was living in a stylish house, had stocks and he was earning good money as a boxer. On October 29, 1929, when the Stock market crashed Braddock’s and his family’s life drastically changed. He not only lost all his investments but because of his physical injuries Braddock could not fight in the ring any longer. Braddock spent little time dwelling on the fact that he had just lost his job and instead covered the cast that secured his broken hand and made his way to the docks the next morning in hopes of being one of the few lucky men to be chosen. Money was tight, but when his son came home with a stolen salami Braddock didn’t think twice to return the salami that could be very useful for the family to its oblivious owner. Not only his morals remained intact during the very difficult times, but also his family life was surprisingly just as good if not better than during the good times.

No matter what happened he saved his loving, respectful relationship with his wife and his children. His children and his wife were always waiting for him at the door after each fight with compassion and they laughed and cried together. His family ties were very strong, they stood behind him every step on his way to success and probably he can thank his family for what he had accomplished. When the chance to return to the boxing rink knocked on his front door, James Braddock accepted without hesitation. His luck began to turn around as more money made its way into Jim’s pocket. A couple of fights later James J. Braddock went from a poor local fighter to the world’s. best heavy weight champion and earned his nickname, Cinderella Man. Some may have seen Mae Braddock as just another unfortunate wife, for she, like many others, had a husband with a low income that struggled to support the family, Mae disagreed.

Mae Braddock loved her husband very much, rich or poor she wanted no one other than James J. Braddock. They had three children, James, Howard and Rosemarie. When sickness threatened one of their children’s life, Mae decided to send their kids away to a home where she thought they would be safer. A disappointed and defeated Jim disagreed with Mae’s decision and decided to consult his former boxing buddies for help to pay the bills in order to make their home a safer environment for the kids. Although Mae knew people frowned upon asking others for money, she stood by Jim careless to what others would say. Mae Braddock took up sewing to help James support the family they both knew and loved. Although Mae didn’t completely approve of the life­threatening boxing matches Jim fought to sustain the Braddock family, she never abstained him from the sport. A caring mother and loving wife, that is who Mae Braddock should be known as.

Joe Gould is a lively manager and friend to Braddock who not only does his best to find him matches puts his all into the matches staying right along with Braddock during his fights. Gould though always stays as a friend to Braddock throughout even as they are both facing the troubles of the Great Depression. Gould was a hot­tempered, Jewish talker who loved promotion. He was absolutely loyal to Braddock. When his career hit rock bottom, Braddock told Gould to go find some other, more profitable fighter to manage. However, Gould refused to turn his back on his client. Even when evidence was scant, Gould always believed in Braddock’s potential. It was Gould’s unflagging persistence that secured Braddock his match with Corn Griffin and then his subsequent opponents. Though times were tough, Joe Gould always had James Braddock’s back.

Cinderella Man and the Great Depression Essay

Cinderella Man Essay

Cinderella Man Essay.

‘Choose two or more of the central characters and describe them. How has Ron Howard directed your response to them? Do these characters change during the course of the film?’

Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film directed by Ron Howard. The film is based on real-life events that focus on the life of the professional boxer James J. Braddock and his struggle through the Great Depression. The main characters portrayed in the film are very diverse and versatile throughout the story.

Howard’s technique was to construct the characters to all have unique and varied personalities which make the viewer feel more immersed in the film. Throughout the film, the main characters undergo a change in personality which allows them to dynamically change with the story.

James J. Braddock is an excellent example of Howard’s technique in the film; to create a dynamic and heroic character who defies the odds. James J. Braddock is first encountered in the first scene of the film, fighting an opponent in the boxing ring and winning by knockout.

Braddock’s attitude for winning in the opening scene highlights Braddock’s success as a boxer before the events of the Great Depression. Five years later, during the time of the Great Depression, Braddock and his family are shown to be in a small house with very low lighting, in contrast to the suburban house they used to own. Howard used this scene to mark the first major turning point in the film. Braddock is faced with an opportunity to briefly return to the ring to support his family, and despite his injuries and his aging body he accepts the fight.

“I have to believe that when things are bad I can change them”. The determination shown by Braddock is another turning point in the film and allows him to continue fighting regularly to support his family. Throughout Braddock’s fights and injuries in the film, his thoughts of his family and future allow him to surpass his struggles and ultimately win the world title from Max Baer. Braddock developed from an unemployed father to a fighting spirit giving a feeling of hope to everybody affected by the depression, which earned him the name “Cinderella Man”.

Likewise to Braddock’s determination and hope for the future, his manager Joe Gould is a character who possesses a wide array of personalities while still having sympathy towards Braddock and his family. Gould had been Braddock’s manager for years and they were good friends. Howard portrayed Gould to have a cunning and witty attitude towards Braddock. During the events of the Great Depression, Gould maintained the appearance of a wealthy, successful businessman. However he was struggling just as much as Braddock and his family were. Gould did this so he would not risk losing his job. “You just don’t want folks to see ya down”.

Mae Braddock criticised Gould for being selfish and only caring about his image, but despite Gould owning a luxurious apartment and expensive clothing, his apartment was empty due to Gould selling his belongings to pay for Braddock’s training. The purpose of this technique used by Howard is to use the apartment to mirror Gould’s personality. Both the apartment and Gould maintain a pompous image on the outside, but on the inside there is a sense of understanding and pain for Braddock.

In contrast to Braddock and Gould, Max Baer is portrayed by Howard as a very arrogant and aggressive character who is seen to have fashion and swagger, contrasting with Braddock’s circumstances during the depression. Max Baer was the World Champion in boxing during the Great Depression, best known for killing two men in the ring. Baer was a very hostile fighter and fought very aggressively with his opponents, whom he often maimed or even killed. Despite having a wife, Baer was seen with two other women in a hotel room which highlights his personality of being very callous or malicious. Prior to his fight with Braddock, Baer confronted him and told him to drop out of the fight. “It’s no joke, pal. People die in fairytales all the time”.

The camera angle facing upwards to Baer as he said those words to Braddock emphasized his violent personality and made him seem much more powerful and intimidating. During his fight with Braddock, Baer displayed his injustice towards Braddock and his family by talking about Mae in uncivilised contexts. Baer also decided to fight in a very hostile and unfair way due to Braddock fighting against the odds and making it past the first round, which he was not expected to do. Baer’s arrogance ultimately helped in his demise and Braddock emerged victorious.

Throughout the film Cinderella Man, the main characters all develop and show new personalities from their experiences in the film. The response of the audience towards the central characters changes over the course of the film and the true colours and personalities of the characters shine through up to the concluding scene of the film.

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Cinderella Man Essay

The Cause and Effects of the Great Depression Essay

The Cause and Effects of the Great Depression Essay.

Many people speculate that the stock market crash of 1929 was the main cause of The Great Depression. In fact, The Great Depression was caused by a series of factors, and the effects of the depression were felt for many years after the stock market crash of 1929. By looking at the stock market crash of 1929, bank failures, reduction of purchasing, American economic policy with Europe, and drought conditions, it becomes apparent that The Great Depression was caused by more than just the stock market crash.

The effects were detrimental beyond the financial crisis experienced during this time period.

The first and most obvious known factor in the development of The Great Depression is the stock market crash of 1929. The Money Alert website states that, “When the stock market crashed in 1929, it didn’t happen on a single day. Instead, the stock market continued to plummet over the course of a few days setting in motion one of the most devastating periods in the history of the United States” (The Money Alert).

Many investors would buy stocks on a margin where they would purchase the stocks with borrowed money. This was a great option for buyers when the stock market was on the rise.

However, when the stocks plummeted, the financial institutions that had loaned the money for the stock purchase went to collect the capital that had been loaned out and were unable to do so. This, in effect, caused banks to lose money as a result of being unable to collect on the debt, and the investors were unable to collect their losses. In addition to private investors, banks and businesses were investing in margin loans as well. So, these poor investment strategies led the banking industry to lose the majority of their assets, including money from bank customers that had no knowledge that their money was being used for this purpose.

Since no government regulations were in place to protect investors and banks in this circumstance, this ultimately led to the effect of the stock market crash, which paved the way for America to go into The Great Depression. The banking industry’s reaction to the stock market crash, would be the next major cause of the Great Depression. The banking industry as a whole after the stock market crashed was going bankrupt due to not being able to carry the “bad debt” that was created from using customer money to buy stock.

Because the banks were out of money, they were unable to cover customer withdrawals from their bank, causing many bank customers to lose all of their savings. With the uncertainty of the future of the banking industry, many people withdrew all of their savings, which caused more than 9,000 banks to close their doors and go out of business (Kelly). Due to the effects of the Great Depression, and the collapse of the banking industry, the government created regulations to prevent similar failure in the future.

For Example, the SEC, (or Securities Exchange Commission), which regulates the sell and trade of stocks, bonds and other investments was created as a result of The Great Depression. The FDIC (or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), was created to insure bank accounts so that that the consumer would be protected if the bank were to go out of business (Kelly). The Great Depression’s effect on the banking industry led to many useful changes to the banking industry and helped restore confidence in banks in the American people.

The next major factor that contributed to the Great Depression was the reduction of goods being purchased during the time period. After the stock market crashed, consumers from all economic classes in America were uncertain of the stability of the economy, and stopped purchasing consumer goods. The effect of not purchasing goods caused many companies to begin to produce a surplus, or an excess of goods, which caused companies to reduce their unneeded workforce (Kelly). Since so many people were out of work, they too were unable to purchase goods, and soon a domino effect was created and many companies went out of business.

During this time period, many people purchased goods on payment plans, similar to the modern credit system we use today, and their inability to pay caused many companies to repossess the purchased goods. This caused companies to have additional inventory of products that contributed to the lack of need to manufacture additional products (Kelly). By this time, more than 25% of the workforce was now out of work, and due to the overproduction of goods and overstock of inventory, there weren’t enough consumers to purchase these goods (Kelly).

Another major contributing factor to The Great Depression was America’s economic policy with Europe. During the midst of the depression, the government decided to create the Smoot-Hawley Tariff to help protect American companies by taxing import goods from Europe. The government initially created the Smoot-Hawley Tariff to protect America by making foreign agricultural goods more expensive than domestic products so that foreign goods would cost more than local grown goods(Kelly). Due to many revisions during the initial stages of the tariff, many other American businesses were included in its protection.

The effect of the tariff on trade with Europe caused unstable relations with European countries. Also, many of the European nations began to boycott goods sold by American companies in an act of retaliation for the tariff (Kelly). Having this tariff in effect during the Great Depression caused a prolonged recovery in the American economy due to the decline in Europe purchasing consumer goods from America, in addition to the decline of domestic goods purchases. The final major contributing factor in the great depression was the massive drought that took place during the 1930’s.

Though the drought wasn’t a direct cause to the depression, it did, however, add to the turmoil that was taking place during this time period. The drought of the 1930’s had a very drastic effect on many reigns of the United States which caused both economic and ecologic problems to the country. The economic problems caused by the Great Depression were mostly concentrated in the Mississippi valley, where farmers were unable to pay the tax on the land and most were left no choice but to sell their farms for no profit. This caused a decline in agriculture goods available in America, due to the lack of farming during this time period (Kelly).

The ecological effects of the drought, combined with the effects of over-farming the land, caused the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was caused by over-farming the land and not correctly rotating the crops. By not rotating the crops correctly, the top soil became damaged. Because of the damages to the top soil, the land became infertile, and many people were forced to abandon their land or sell off their property. The timing of the drought, along with the effects that it had on the economy, forced the Great Depression further into turmoil and made recovery even more out of reach for the country (Bonnifield).

The stock market crash did, however, act as the match that lit the fire that was The Great Depression. Along with the stock market, the cause of the depression was also contributed to the banking industry’s inability to cover losses sustained during the stock market crash. Also, the reduction of manufacturing and purchasing goods caused a toxic cycle of workers not being able to work, in turn not being able to consume goods, which further sank the country into financial hardship.

With the tariffs in effect with Europe, the consumption of America’s goods by foreign nations greatly decreased, which caused the country to fall further behind in recovery of the economic turn-down. In addition to these circumstances, the timing of the drought that occurred in this time period caused many of the farmers supporting our agriculture to fold, and created one of the largest man-made natural disasters in history. Careful of these factors shows that it took more than a crisis in the stock market to cause America to go into the greatest economic slump ever experienced in the history of our country.

The Cause and Effects of the Great Depression Essay

APUSH Outline– Harding/Hoover Essay

APUSH Outline– Harding/Hoover Essay.

His “ohio gang” consisted of Hughes, Mellon, Hoover, Albert Fall, and Daugherty. Hughes was secretary of state, Mellon- sec. Of treasury, Hoover- Sec. of commerce, Fall- Sec. of the Interior, and Daugherty- Attorney General GOP Reaction at the Throttle

Harding known as an “amiable boob” He wanted the gov’t to help guide business along the path to profits Adkins V. Children’s hospital (1923)- court reversed its own reasoning in Muller V. Oregon. They declared that because women now had right to vote, the were legal equals of men and couldn’t be protected The Aftermath of War

Washington returned the railroads to private management in 1920 Esch-Cummins Transportation Act of 1920- encouraged private consolidation of the railroads and pledged the Interstate Commerce Commission to guarantee their profitability.

Merchant Marine Act of 1920- authorized the Shipping Board, which controlled 1500 vessels , to dispose of much of the war time fleet at bargain prices La Follette Seaman’s Act of 1915- American shipping couldn’t thrive in competition with foreigners who often provided their workers with wretched food and low wages Labor board ordered a 12% cut in 1922.

2 month strike occurred Veterans Bureau created which was authorized to operate hospitals and provide rehabilitation for the disabled Adjusted Compensation Ac t- gave every former soldier a paid-up insurance policy due in 20 yrs America Seeks Benefits Without Burdens

Washington “Disarmament” Conference in 1921-1922. Invitations sent to the major naval powers except Bolshevik Russia Secretary Hughes declared a 10 year “holiday” on the construction of battleships Five-Power Naval Treaty of 1922embodied Hugh’s idea of the 5:5:3 ship ratio Four-Power Treaty bounded Britain, Japan, France, and the U.S. to preserve the status quo of the pacific Coolidge’s secretary of state Frank Kellogg signed the wit the French foreign minister in 1928the Pact of Paris Hiking the Tariff Higher

Fordney-McCumber Tariff Law During Harding and Coolidge, tariffs were increased rather than really being reduced The Stench of Scandal Forbes looted the gov’t of about 200 million under Harding, sentenced to two years of prison Teapot Dome Scandal- sec of interior, Fall, induced the sec. of the navy to transfer the oil reserve properties of Teapot Dome Wyoming and Elk Hills, California to the interior department Harding signed the secret order. Fall quietly leased lands to oilmen Sinclair and Doheny vut not until he received bribe of over 100,000 “Silent Cal” Coolidge

Coolidge was shy, quiet, and boring “cautious Cal” would bring back morality to the scandalous Harding regime Frustrated Farmers 1920 price of wheat went up to $3 a bushel “what belt” located in upper midwest The McCormick reaper allowed farmers to harvest an overabundance in wheat. Depression occurred in 20s Capper-Volstead Act- exempted farmers’ marketing cooperatives from antitrust prosecution McNary-Haugen Bill- sought to keep agricultural prices high by authorizing the gov’t to buy up surpluses and sell them abroad. Coolidge vetoed the bill twice A three-Way Race for the White House in 1924

Republicans nominated Coolidge for presidency in 1924 Democrats nominated John W. Davis Senator “Fighting Bob” La Follette led a new Progressive grouping. Gained endorsement of the American Federation of Labor Platform called for gov’t ownership of the railroads and relief for farmers, lashed out at monopoly and anti-labor injunctions, and urged an amendment to limit the Supreme Court’s power to invalidate laws passed by congress Foreign- Policy Flounderings

American troops removed from the Dominican Republic in 1924. Remained in Haiti until 1934.breifely removed from Nicaragua in 1925 1926 mexico began to assert its sovereignty over oil resources. Coolidge tried to negotiate America loaned 10 billion to allies during and after the war. U.S. wanted to be paid back and the allies protested that the demand for repayment was unfair Unraveling the Debt Knot

Allies demanded Germany to pay 32 billion in war damages Dawes plan of 1924- negotiated mainly by Dawes, it rescheduled German reparations payments and opened the way for further American private loans to Germany The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, 1928 Coolidge’s successor was the secretary of commerce, Hoover in the 1928 election Democrats nominated Alfred E. Smith. Was a colorful alcoholic. “Al(chohol) smith” Radio helped hoover win more than Smith

Hoover had strong faith in American individualism, free enterprise, and small government He endorsed labor unions and supported federal regulation of the radio broadcasting industry Hoover won election

President Hoover’s First Moves Agricultural Marketing Act- passed june 1929- set up the Federal Farm Board. Helped farmers help themselves 1930 the farm board created the Grain Stabilization Corp and the Cotton stabilization corp- goal was the buy up all the surpluses Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930turned out to be the highest protective tariff in the nation’s history The Great Crash Ends the Golden Twenties

Stock market crash came in October 1929 Partially because Britain raised their interest rates to bring back capital “black Tuesday” is also October 29, 1929 By the end of 1930 more than 4million workers in the U.S. were jobless 5000 banks collapsed in the first 5 yrs of the depression Hooked on the Horn of Plenty Great depression primarily brought on by overproduction by farm and factory Overexpansion of credit through installment-plan buying overstimulated production Drought scorched Mississippi Valley in 1930. Thousands of farms sold at auction of taxes People slept under “Hoover blankets (old newspapers) and fought over things in garbage cans Shanty towns called “Hoovervilles”

Rugged Times For Rugged Individuals Hoover feared that the gov’t handing out welfare/money would weaken or destroy the nation Hoover finally stepped away from his doctrine of individualism and accepted that the welfare of the people in a nationwide catastrophe is a direct concern of the national gov’t He would assist the railroads, banks, and rural credit corporations Hoover Battles the Great Depression

Hoover dam built for purposes of irrigation, flood control, and electric power Hoover vetoed the Muscle Shoals Bill because it was to dam the Tennessee River which meant to gov’t would sell electricity in competition with its own citizens/private companies Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)- made in 1932, it became a gov’t lending bank. Was designed to provide indirect relief by assisting insurance companies, banks, railroads, and state/local gov’ts Norris-La Guardia Anti-Injunction Act- passed in 1932, outlawed “yellow dog” (antiunion) contracts and forbade the federal courts to issue injunctions to restrain strikes and peaceful picketing Routing the Bonus Army in Washington

“Bonus Expeditionary Force” (BEF) were unemployed veterans who mustered 20000 people to set up a “Hooverville” on the capital to intimidate congress into giving them their entire bonus for the war General Douglas MacArthur evicted the people

APUSH Outline– Harding/Hoover Essay