The Roaring Twenties Essay

1567 Words 7 Pages
After World War I, the US came into an era known as the Roaring Twenties. During this time, many Americans dedicated their time to buying consumer goods such as cars, telephones, and radios. This in turn led to a period of great prosperity in the United States and Americans were more geared to letting loose and having fun. Americans had so much fun, they spent money they didn’t have. However, a large segment of the population did not get to share in the wealth as the gap between the rich and poor widened. Although worker productivity had increased by 32% within 1923 to 1929, worker wages had only risen by 8 percent while corporate profits increased by 62 percent. The richest 1% contributed to 40% of the nation’s wealth, the 5% of wealthiest …show more content…
The stock market crash has undermined the nation’s economic ability to hold itself together and unleashed more weaknesses. Some loans were just too big and banks failed due to the investor’s inability to pay back loans. People across the nation became worried and rushed to banks to withdraw as much money as they could, causing even more banks to close, losing millions of dollars in savings. At the time, the large majority of banks were small institutions relying on their own resources. Since the panic caused people to withdraw as much money as they could, banks that no longer had enough money on reserve went under. Within two years, over 3,000 banks were forced to close. Without banks to lend money, employers could no longer borrow it to make payroll, causing more businesses to go bankrupt, leaving now unemployed workers unable to buy goods that would have kept the businesses open. The Federal Reserve, the United States’ central banking system, also contributed to the Great Depression. In order to keep the dollar from losing value, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. However, by doing so less money was circulating. When people began to withdraw all their money from banks, money supply kept decreasing. The Federal Reserve did not pump out any more money to combat deflation. The Fed had kept monetary policy too tight for too long, causing prices to fall. The Federal Reserve did …show more content…
Roosevelt that set the stage. Franklin Roosevelt set forth Roosevelt’s Emergency Banking Act, reorganizing banks and closing those in debt. In addition, he made use of radios with his fireside chats, persuading people into putting their savings back into banks. In April 1935, F. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration which provided jobs for those unemployed. The Works Progress Administration worked on building places such as parks, schools, bridges, and other public buildings. Similarly, the United States Conservation Corps provided jobs by having workers to preserve the environment by things such as creating hiking trails and taking care of national forests. In addition, in August of that year, F. Roosevelt signed the the Social Security Act of 1935, guaranteeing a system of unemployment insurance and care for the dependent and disabled. These programs became part of what is known as the New Deal, creating 42 new agencies designed to create jobs, allow unionization, and provide unemployment insurance, and overall lifting America out of the Great

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