Great Depression Causes

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The Great Depression (1929-1939) was the longest and most devastating era of economic decline in the United States. The “Great Depression” took place during the decade of the 1930s when unemployment and poverty skyrocketed and the economy plummeted. Industries collapsed, businesses failed, and the U.S. went into debt. Many long term factors led up to and triggered the Great Depression. One of the long term factors was consumer spending and consumer mentality. Prior to the Great Depression consumers had began to buy on credit which led to reduced spending which in turn had a snowball effect in which people stopped buying goods. This resulted in businesses closing leaving workers unemployed. In turn, the unemployed stopped buying goods which …show more content…
The result was massive economic collapse. A second long term factor that contributed to the downfall was the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor. The main problem came about when the rich stopped investing money in businesses which caused businesses to close down and fire their employees. In 1928, the year President Herbert Hoover was elected into office, the combined long term causes culminated in the stock market crash lunging the U.S. economy from recession to the Great Depression. Unemployment rates went up 25% for white males and 50% for ethnic males. People lost their homes. President Hoover, overconfident and believing that the economy was going through a normal up-and-down cycle, did nothing. The economy continued to plummet. In 1932, President Franklin Delaware Roosevelt (FDR) was elected into office and immediately implemented “The New Deal.” The New Deal was FDR’s “try anything plan” to get the economy back on its feet. It consisted of many small administrations being set up in order to provide relief to struggling citizens and to reform and stimulate the failing economy. While some may argue that the New Deal failed to reach its original goals, I believe that the New Deal was a …show more content…
For one, the New Deal consisted of various programs that ultimately were not efficient. An illustration in Document 4 portrays this well. The U.S., here illustrated by Uncle Sam, is depressed. The doctor FDR has prescribed many programs, a.k.a., the many medicine bottles, but Uncle Sam is still sick. While I believe that this political cartoon exaggerates a bit, I do agree that the New Deal had many programs that took over a decade to fix the economy; thus proving that the New Deal didn’t quite succeed. In addition to this, the New Deal failed the minorities; more specifically, the African American population. Many, if not all, the relief programs discriminated against African Americans. For example, the National Recovery Administration not only made sure that whites obtained the better job, but also authorized lower wages for blacks. (Document 7) Also the Federal Housing Authority refused housing to blacks in white numbers. The Civilian Conservation Corps practiced segregation and the Social Security Act excluded jobs traditionally held by blacks from being qualified for retirement. Furthemore, the New Deal allowed the government to expand and grow which it has continued to do. As stated in Document 2, during the Depression, the government took it upon itself to provide relief through promoting jobs and regulating wages, work hours, and more. At that time, this regulation was

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