America, the Great Depression, and The Cinderella Man

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In October 1929, the United States stock market crashed due to panic selling. This crash started a rippling effect that contributed to a world wide economic crisis called the Great Depression. This crash was such a shock because of the economic expansion of the 1920’s when the Dow Jones average reached an all time high of three hundred eighty one. The year 1928 was a time of optimism and the stock market had become a place where everyday people truly believed that they could become rich. People everywhere were talking about the market and newspapers were reporting stories of ordinary people such as chauffeurs, maids, and teachers making millions off the stock market. People who didn’t have the money bought on margin. The stock market was booming and the excitement about the market caused a lot of over speculation. People ignored the small signs of the impending crash until Black Thursday, October 24, 1929. Four days later the stock market fell again. At first, the effects of the crash were felt by people who had invested a great deal of money in stocks which was about four million people out of a population of one hundred and twenty million people. Some investors lost their life savings and everything they had. Then, people who had never even owned one share of stock were affected. Banks loaned large sums of money out to high risk businesses and consumers in order to profit from the interest on the loans. These high-risk businesses and consumers were unable to repay these loans when the stock market crashed. People also ran to the bank to take out their money, which were called bank runs, for fear that the bank would run out of money. Banks failed due to unpaid loans and bank runs. In just a few years after the crash, more tha... ... middle of paper ... ...rica: Pathways to the Present. Needham, MA: Prentice Hall, 2003. 506-12. Print. Cinderella Man. Prod. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Perf. Paul Giamatti, RENEE - ACTRESS ZELLWEGER, and Russell Crowe. Universal Pictures, 2005. DVD. "The Great Depression." The Great Depression (1929-1939). N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. Henneman, George T., Sr. "The Great Depression." Personal interview. 28 Mar. 2014. Mann, Karl, Derik Hermann, and Andreas Heinz. "ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF ALCOHOLISM." ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF ALCOHOLISM: THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. Oxford Journals, 2 Oct. 1999. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. . Rosenburg, Jennifer. "The Stock Market Crash of 1929." About.com 20th Century History. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. "Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

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