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Understanding the Great Depression

explanatory Essay
2827 words
2827 words
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It was in 1929 that industrial production declined, business slumped and depression began in the United States. Rising unemployment, falling incomes, increasingly underutilized capacity, the drop in primary-product prices and the collapse of international trade combined to depress the international economy. Property owners felt depressed because their assets were shrinking, manufacturers had to deal with declining sales, building operators experienced a crippling lack of demand, railroad managers were desperate because fewer people utilized the rails, farmers were ruined by deflated prices, wage-earners were facing unemployment and successive wage cuts. Everybody fought the long and arduous, discouraging battle for subsistence. This paper explores three aspects of the Great Depression: why it happened, the relationship between workers and unions, and how the Depression affected the jobless. WHY IT HAPPENED The Great Depression of the 1930s was a worldwide phenomenon, composed of an infinite number of separate but related events. And it seemed indisputable that there was a pattern to the trend of events nearly everywhere. At the time, this developing pattern was not immediately clear. The people of every country were, however, aware that the same forces were at work everywhere and that these forces had caused an economic catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. If the Great Depression was the same everywhere, international cooperation was necessary for ending it. But despite the urgings of economists and statesmen, the nations were singularly unsuccessful in coordinating their attempts to overcome the depression. Most countries adopted nationalistic policies, some deliberately aimed at benefiting their own people at the expe... ... middle of paper ... ...r the steep decline in agricultural incomes. WORKS CITED Enzler, C.J. Some Social Aspects of the Depression 1930-1935. Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1939 Fearon, Peter. The Origins and Nature of the Great Slump 1929-1932. New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1979 Garraty, John A. The Great Depression: An Inquiry into the causes, course and consequences of the WorldWide Depression of the Nineteen- Thirties. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1986 Eichengreen, Barry. and Douglas A. Irwin. "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?", July 2009. Web. 7 Sept. 2015. http://www.nber.org/papers/w15142 Kehoe, Timothy J. and Edward C. Prescott. Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century, 2007 Morley, Felix. Aspects of the Depression. New York: The University of Chicago Press, 1968

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that industrial production declined, business slumped and depression began in the united states in 1929. rising unemployment, falling incomes, underutilized capacity, and the collapse of international trade combined to depress the international economy.
  • Explains the origins of the great depression, which began in 1929, placed an impossible strain, directly and indirectly, upon the world economy.
  • Explains that the great depression of the 1930s was a worldwide phenomenon, composed of an infinite number of separate but related events.
  • Explains that during the great depression, people who had full-time jobs were usually better off, at least economically, than they had been before 1929.
  • Explains that unemployment was the most alarming aspect of the great depression.
  • Describes enzler, c.j., fearon, peter, and garraty, john a. the great depression: an inquiry into the causes, course and consequences of the worldwide depression.
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