An economic catastrophe of major proportions had been building for years. The worldwide demand for agricultural goods during World War I vanished after the war and rural America experienced a severe depression throughout most of the 1920s. This lead to banks foreclosing farm mortgages and by the early 1930s thousands upon thousands of American farmers were out of business. The U.S. economy was superficial and shallow. Major businesses increased profits through most of the decade while wages remained low and workers were unable to buy the goods they had helped to produce.
The stock market was the main cause that forced American into the Great Depression. The stocks were a towering success until the collapse; the crash forced many Americans into poverty because they had to sell almost everything they had to repa... ... middle of paper ... ...tter poverty. The depression affected millions of Americans and I got to really feel what they went through when I watched the movie Cinderella Man. Jim Braddock the main character of the movie went thorough tough times; he lost his job, couldn’t support his family and witnessed loved ones being lost to the Great Depression. Going through all this just made him a stronger man.
In addition to North America, the Depression greatly affected Europe and other various countries throughout the world significantly during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Great Depression was caused by the collapse of the Stock Market, which happened in October of 1929. The crash exhausted about forty percent of the paper values of common stocks. It was the worst depression due to the fact that at the time of the Great Depression the government involvement in the economy was higher than it had ever been. A unique government agency had been set up exclusively to prevent depressions and their related troubles for instance bank panics.
The crash spelled disaster for the national economy. Corporations with heavy investments faced a sudden shock to their assets. This was the beginning of the depression. The national income slipped lower each year from 1929-1932, and it did not return until World War II. Unemployment became the most important problem of the depression to the people living in the US.
“The result was drastically falling output and drastically rising unemployment; ... ... middle of paper ... ...its were contracting it; The Fed's inaction was the reason why the initial recession turned into a prolonged depression; The economy continually sank throughout Hoover's entire term. Under Roosevelt's New Deal, it rose five out of seven years. Attempts to blame Big Government for the Depression do not withstand serious scrutiny; The Smoot-Hawley Tariff had a minor impact because trade formed only 6 percent of the U.S. economy, and reducing trade gave Americans only that much more money to spend domestically. Hoover's other attempts at government intervention came mostly during his last year in office, when the Depression was already at its depth; The first nations to come out of the Great Depression were Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, and then everyone else did so after they adopted the Keynesian solution of heavy deficit government spending and the Keynesian economic policies have eliminated the depression from the world's economies in the six decades that have followed. Works Cited WWW.huppi.com WWW.english.uiuc.edu Nelson Cary Kennedy, David Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War Oxford, New York 1999 Oxford University Press
Soon enough, thousands were migrating to find jobs elsewhere. Eventually when former President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected into office, he presented America with “The New Deal,” the plan that would save America and bring the nation up and out of the recession. The President in office at the start of the recession was Herbert Hoover. As the beginning signs of the recession started to show through, Hoover was very sure that the hardships would subside. Hoover told the nation that they had, “…passed the worst,” and as it was written by Stephen Feinstein, Hoover believed that, “The economy would sort itself out.” He was proved to be very wrong.
The federal government also helped to make the growing gap between the upper and middle classes. President Calvin ... ... middle of paper ... ...yers were available at any price (EV 549). This speculation and the resulting stock market crash acted as a trigger to the already unstable U.S. economy. Due to the poor distribution of wealth, the economy of the 1920’s was one very much dependent upon confidence. President Hoover stated, “…the crisis has been isolated to the stock market itself.” (Docs Hoover).
The truth behind the stock market crash is that it was the event that caused the already unstable economy to go over the limit. If the president and the stock market crash did not cause the Great Depression, then what did? According to research done on the Great Depression, the causes rest on of different factors, but can be put under two main categories. The responsibility for the Great Depression falls not only on the Stock Market Crash, but also on the maldistribution of wealth, an unstable economy and the wild stock market practices of the 1920’s. The largest reason for the growing gap between the rich and the working-class people was the sudden increase in manufacturing during the 1920’s.
The Causes of the Great Depression Adam Fenster Mr. Banker March 6, 2014 Modern World There were many contributions to the cause of the Great Depression, but the three most prominent catalysts were the crash of the New York Stock Exchange, the excessive spending by Americans in the 1920s as well as the bad shape the economy was in, and the false belief that the post-war economic boom would last. As we look back now from our future perspective, we can analyze exactly what went wrong, and how to prevent events like this from happening in the future. The New York Stock Exchange crash sent Americans into panic and made most people lose trust in stocks. Americans were spending too much and investments were put in too deep. As a result, America could no longer keep up the funding of war relief efforts in Europe.
As business failures increased and unemployment soared--and as people with dwindling incomes nonetheless had to pay their creditors--it was apparent that the United States was in the grip of economic breakdown. Most European countries were hit even harder, because they had not yet fully recovered from the ravages of World War I.) The deepening depression essentially coincided with the term in office (1929-33) of President Herbert HOOVER. The stark statistics scarcely convey the distress of the millions of people who lost jobs, savings, and homes. From 1930 to 1933 industrial stocks lost 80% of their value.