The Great Depression was the most traumatic and critical economic failings in American history. This capitalistic collapse can be attributed to numerous factors; the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the mass failings of banks, reduction of purchasing power across economic classes, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff and the infamous Dust Bowl. Each of these events seemed to flow into one another causing the depression to be as impactful as it was. During this time period African-Americans as whole were still fighting for equality and due to racism the Great Depression hit the black community hard. After Franklin Roosevelt was elected he and his advisors created a plan to save to save the economy, this was called the New Deal. As with essentially every major law or program established in the United States this New Deal plan helped some more than others, intentional or otherwise.
In 1925 the New York Stock exchange held a value of twenty-seven billion dollars four years later this number exploded to eighty-seven billion dollars. Stock holders during this time more than tripled their investments and others were clamoring to get the same amount of success if not more. Banks would consistently lend money to predominately white investors using a system known as margin purchasing. Essentially the investor would borrow up to seventy-five percent of the cost of the stock from a bank with interest rates as high as 20% with the assumption in mind that this loan would be paid back with plenty of money to spare. These banks would use the money of the bankers who stored their money to fund these loans, again with the knowledge and assumption that it would be paid back in full. This system was discouraged by the Federal Reserve Board in fea...
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...in pushed to the back and neglected.
The New Deal did indeed save the capitalist system and arguably America as a nation. Although the New Deal created millions of jobs it did not effectively address the blatant misogyny and racism, neither of these issues would be tackled until these oppressed minorities began to speak up and protest. This program did not end the free-market economy, it did not nationalize the industry and the social safety net it did create was not one to be proud of, it still pales in comparison to the European counterpart. This plan essentially saved only white America, particularly white men although white women still reaped the benefits. This crisis could have been avoided and also handled with inclusivity in mind. The United States was saved but through this New Deal but many of the underlying, aforementioned issues still exist to this day.
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