The American Journey: The Great Depression

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Paper 2: The Great Depression The Great Depression is one of “the nation’s worst economic crisis, extending through the 1930s, producing unprecedented bank failures, unemployment, and industrial and agricultural collapse.” (The American Journey) This paper will describe what many think are the causes of the Great Depression. The United States stock market had hit record highs during the preceding years of the Great Depression. “Stimulated by optimism, easy credit, and speculators’ manipulations.” (The American Journey) On October 24th the stock market crash begins and by October 29th also known as Black Tuesday, the stock market had crashed. The prices of stock plummeted and banks started calling in loans. In the next few months billions …show more content…
The cause of the depression was not the crash of the market that was only the beginning. The depression “stemmed from weaknesses in the New Era economy.” (The American Journey) The most damaging was the unequal distribution of wealth and income. The gap between income brackets shrank. “And where once, not long before, middle-class Americans might reflexively have considered lazy anyone who was unemployed, where once they might have considered radical anyone who claimed the government owed them some assistance, in the 1930s they increasingly saw suffering millions among them as people much like themselves, who had worked to build the country that seemed now to be falling apart.” (Rauchway, Eric) Workers and farmers were going through the …show more content…
The stock market crash literally stopped the flow of the American dollar to Europe which caused financial panics and industrial collapse; therefore making the Great Depression global. “Shut out from U.S. markets by high tariffs, Europeans had depended on American investments to manage their debts and reparation payments from the Great War.” (Goldfield, David) The Wall Street crash did not cause widespread panic at home or aboard. “One French observer commented that an “abscess” had been “lanced.” British commentators dismissed it as an isolated event and predicted continuing prosperity. President Hoover remained confident well into 1930, even telling a group of religious leaders requesting relief for the unemployed, “You have come sixty days too late. The depression is over.”” (The American Journey) Not one person panic as stated at the beginning because every thought that it would be over in a few months. Even the president said “sixty days”. The stock market did come crashing down and it made European borrowing more difficult, especially for Germany whose economy was already failing economy. The United Sates was unable to give out loans to any foreign countries and many were pretty much dependent on the United States and a few nearly faced bankruptcy. The United States accounted for 40 percent of the worlds manufactured goods which was twice the figure of Germany and England combined in 1929. “When the

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