What Caused The Great Depression Essay

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America has gone through many hard times before, but never has it suffered a burden as profound and extensive as the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a dark period of groundbreaking decline in economic activity in the United States that lasted from 1929 to 1939. This impacted the lives of millions of Americans ranging from wealthy business owners to families living in poverty. Not only was this depression an economic catastrophe, but it was a social and political catastrophe as well. Over the course of these few years, consumer spending and investment dropped significantly which in turn caused steep declines in industrial output and increased levels of unemployment as failing companies laid off workers. Many factors led to the Great Depression, but some of the main causes included the stock market crash of 1929, bank failures, high unemployment rates, and the Dust Bowl are what brought on the hardships of numerous Americans. …show more content…
Dry winds grabbed huge amounts of topsoil and blew it over the prairies, resulting in huge clouds of dirt that covered towns and transformed farms into deserts. Individuals who breathed in the airborne prairie dust suffered through coughing outbursts, shortness of breath, asthma, bronchitis and the flu. By 1940, more than 2.5 million individuals had fled from the areas affected by the Dust Bowl, resulting in almost 10 percent moving to California (“Dust Bowl,” 2009). Conditions in the big cities were not any better.
Stock markets crashing was a significant factor in the cause of the Great Depression. “Black Thursday,” October 24, 1929, stock prices began to plummet and panic selling occurred as people tried to sell stocks for any price they could get. By October 29, “Black Tuesday,” stocks completely collapsed, thus leading to the start of what we now know as the Great Depression. On this day, Wall Street investors traded around 16 million shares

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