Henry Ford During the early 1900’s had become one of the country’s richest men by building cheap and affordable cars. He also revolutionized the production process by creating the first assembly line; on the line he would give each worker a task to perform. Specialization made the production process much quicker. Ford who was profiting greatly decided to reward his workers with $5 daily salary. With great job and pay opportunities available in a thriving industry many people flocked to Detroit. Ford’s rein as the top car manufacturer in the country was in jeopardy in the 1920’s with steady competition from Chevy.
Chevy like Ford was determined to revolutionize the way their cars were made in order to maximize their profit. As completion grew so did the amount of overproduction. By the mid 1920’s the automotive bubble was ready to burst. At the start of the Great Depression the auto industry and the motor city were hit hard. Over 20% of the cities workers were unemployed; this number would grow to 50%. The city was close to bankruptcy but the mayor vowed that no one would go hungry and started lodges for the homeless.
For a short period of time Ford was still able to turn a profit and keep its workers on and its factories open. As the Depression ragged on Henry Ford became a figure of hope in the papers because he was what every American wanted to be. Ford like the President believed that just giving the poverty stricken people of the Country free money would lead to a lasting dependence on the Government. Ford preached the idea of self-help; he believed that the only way Americans could improve their situation was to go out and get a job. After several months of loses Ford finally began to take action.
He first started by cutting the pay of many of his workers to $4 a day and cutting hours. Even with pay cuts Ford had to close his factories in Detroit. Ford Six months the assembly lines were still on Miller’s Road. The national communist party organized a march on the factory. The factory was heavily guarded by police and Ford’s armed guards. As the protestors approached the factory the guards opened fire. The guards injured over 20 people and killed 4. In the following months F. D. R would run for president and the depression would only worsen.