The Great Depression

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The Causes of the Great Depression The cause of the Great Depression has been debated for many years. The actual cause of the Great Depression is a multitude of factors, there was no single cause. Several reasons for the Great Depression were supply and demand, the banking system, wages of workers, success and failure of business, government policy, excessive speculation in the stock market and the unequal distribution of wealth between the rich and the middle class. While there are many theories to what caused the Great Depression; all of these factors played a role in the Great Depression. The European nations industry had been devastated during the war and they relied on the United States for most goods. The American industry increased production during the war to meet the demand but over production after the war hurt the American industry and agriculture. The United States industry was producing more than the people were buying. The American farmers were faced with the same fundamental problems of over production (McElvaine 35). During the war in Europe the government encouraged a vast increase in agricultural production. During the war the government subsidized many of the farmers. The farmers borrowed heavily during the war to enlarge their farms to meet the demand. After the war the farmers did not slow production and they over produced (McElvaine 36). The United States imposed high tariffs on goods coming into the country but wanted to sell their good freely in Europe (James 103). Congress passed the Fordney-McCumber tariff of 1922 were they placed tariffs on certain agricultural products which were seldom imported in large quantity to the United States. The tariff should have slowed the agricultur... ... middle of paper ... ...epression can not be contributed to any single reason. There were a multitude of reasons for the collapse of the Stock Market. The Great Depression was felt worldwide. The American economy was the greatest during that time and many nations relied on us. Work Cited Brinkley, Allen. “The Great Depression”, American History: a survey, New York: McGraw Hill, p 666-685. Freedman, Russell. Children of the Great Depression. New York: Clarion Books, 2005 James, Harold. The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression. London, England: Harvard University Press, 2001. McElvaine, Robert S. The Great Depression. Toronto, Canada: Times Books, 1984. Smith, Gerald. Planning and the Tariff: An Essay on Philosophy, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1934. Temin, Peter. Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression, New York: W.W. Norton, 1976.

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