S: The Great Depression
BC: Thats The End of The Great Depression
FC: The Great Depression of the 1930's
1: The Stock Market Crash Many believe erroneously that the stock market crash that occurred on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 is one and the same with the Great Depression. In fact, it was one of the major causes that led to the Great Depression. Two months after the original crash in October, stockholders had lost more than $40 billion dollars. Even though the stock market began to regain some of its losses, by the end of 1930, it just was not enough and America truly entered what is called the Great Depression.
2: Drought Conditions While not a direct cause of the Great Depression, the drought that occurred in the Mississippi Valley in 1930 was of such proportions that many could not even pay their taxes or other debts and had to sell their farms for no profit to themselves. This was the topic of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. The Reduction in purchasing With the stock market crash and the fears of further economic woes, individuals from all classes stopped purchasing items. This then led to a reduction in the number of items produced and thus a reduction in the workforce. As people lost their jobs, they were unable to keep up with paying for items they had bought through installment plans and their items were repossessed. More and more inventory began to accumulate. The unemployment rate rose above 25% which meant, of course, even less spending to help alleviate the economic situation.
4: How Long Did It Last? The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s. It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century, and is used in the 21st century as an example of how far the world's economy can decline. The depression originated in the United States, starting with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday).
5: What Was Life Like? Life was hard for the people. There were dust storms and there was a terrible drought. Farmers had to sell there farms. A lot of people went unemployed. They had to go to a soup kitchen to eat. Migrant families lived in tents. A lot of people left to go west. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60 percent. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as cash cropping, mining and logging suffered the most.
6: Who Was Affected? Twenty-five percent of Americans were unemployed (Baker 286). Everyone, from sharecroppers and planters in the South, to businessmen in large cities was affected. Karl Monroe, a journalist describes the devastation that he witnessed in the breadlines in New York City.
8: How Did IT End? Some programs regulated wages and prices, which helped most families buy things they needed, like food and clothing. Others employed people as conservation workers, artists, writers, and laborers. Social Security helped the elderly who could no longer work and whose savings were gone. Most historians agree that though the New Deal programs helped alleviate some of the problems during the Great Depression, they did not end the economic downturn; World War II was really responsible for the change in the economy.