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The Great Depression

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The Great Depression - Page Text Content

FC: 1929-1939 | The Great Depression

1: Automobile craze | During the "Roaring '20s", the United States was very prosperous and the country experienced a lot of change. For example, with the development of many new inventions like the popular automobile, many bought things on credit and the stock market became a hot place with many living off their investments in it.

2: From there, this caused a downward domino effect of events. First, the investors couldn't pay the bank back so it was out that money to begin with. After a huge drop of stocks into the market, panic struck. Everyone fled to the bank to retrieve their money. Obviously, it wasn't there, forcing the bank to close its doors. | Floor of the NY Stock Exchange | During this time, all good things came to an end. In 1929, the bull market came to a close and the speculators and investors in the business were ruined. This was mainly due to the fact that they were margin buying, or again buying things on credit and loans.

3: 9,000 banks went out of business and over 9 million savings accounts were lost during this time.

4: The act of credit buying then ceased as more people began saving their money and bought less altogether. This resulted in over 86,000 failed businesses across the country. The unemployment rates reached a new high at 23.6%. In conclusion, the Great Depression was caused by the stock market crash/ financial panic, European economic trouble, overproduction in industry, and the unequal distribution of wealth.

5: Life soon rapidly declined for everyone, whether they were rich or poor. Obviously, when most lost their jobs, they were unable to support their families. Middle class citizens then fell into the streets and became dependant on public assistance.

6: The heads of the families, the men, were hit hardest. Feeling like failures and not having the strength to look their starving loved ones in the eye, many of | As city relief funds and charities were expended, people jumped at the opportunity for employment... even street vending apples. People lived in huge groups, sharing all living costs, in places that were not usually heated or had hot water. Eventually, they too were evicted. "Hoovervilles" began to spring up on the edges of the cities, where people built shacks out of any materials they could find. These places were very rough and some of the well- built ones were even sold. Many places were tolerant of the Hoovervilles, however, a lot of them were burn down or raided by sheriffs and vigilant groups.

7: them left and , became part of "the , generation of wanderers". After all the garbage was picked through, their last chance of survival landed them finally in bread lines.

8: Farmers also felt the depression... hard. Besides rains, drought, harsh summers, and awful winters, many lost their farms and the only life they ever knew. Since no one could afford to buy any food, the farms had a surplus of crops. This resulted in them not having an income. | Poor Crops | These crops were then wasted, and when they were gone, the owners could no longer afford to plant again. Not only did the family suffer without food, but also the livestock. Eventually the farm was in ruins with the crops, animals, and equipment all laying in massive rotting heaps.

9: Children of the Farm

10: If white people thought it was hard to find ANY opportunities in the down economy, they didn't think of people of different ethnic backgrounds and races. African Americans were discriminated against in the work place and even received lower wages. The tensions in the south led to the lynching of 24 African Americas. However, they did make improvements and advancements under the Roosevelt administration.

11: Many people came to America, looking to free themselves from their homeland's economy, and found one not much better. Not only did unemployment hurt them, but also natural disasters forced them out of their land. | American Indians also got the short end of the stick. They lost their culture and were extremely vulnerable to disease in their living conditions. John Collier worked to get the government to redirect and revitalize the American Indian life with the passing of the Indian Recognition Act.

12: In the election of 1932, the Democrats achieved a victory with Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) elected as president. Hope and anticipation gripped the nation as they awaited the fulfillment of his promises. The New Deal consisted of many new ideas and relief programs for every aspect of the depression. | Hoover VS. Roosevelt | In 1934, a new surge of programs, including public- works, social- security, and labor improvements, were implemented. This became known as the Second New Deal. It differs from the first as it more so emphasized long- term reform than short- term recovery.

13: FDR'senthusiasm excited Americans and gave them them hope.

14: Arguments of the New Deal critics included that it created a welfare state, promoted deficit spending, and the federal government had become too involved in the economy. | Tale of life during the depression | In 1937, the economy continued to decline. Roosevelt's popularity also decreased, as he was criticized for excessive government spending.

15: Hopeless migrants in need of work

16: Although the immediate cause of the end of the depression is highly debated, an event definitely marks its time. In the year 1939, the world is thrown into conflict again with the start of World War II. With the country going into war, the people had to unite themselves again. Countless people were put back to work as military or in production. As people began making money, the economy picked up again as they began to put money back into the market. Whether or not WWII is responsible for the end of the Great Depression, it sure put the Americans back to work and out of the near ten years of poverty crisis.

17: Preparing for War

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AshLee Lattner
  • By: AshLee L.
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  • Title: The Great Depression
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  • Published: over 8 years ago