What Are The Consequences Of The Great Depression

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The Great Depression of the 1930’s is an event in United States history that is forever remembered for the catastrophic effect it had on the American peoples’ financial, social, and psychological well being of the time. The vast and complicated nature of the economic downturn would take years to recover from, and is still being analyzed by historians and economists to this very day; as time has passed, the debate among experts on what caused the disaster has yet to settle. Just as the consequences of the Great Depression were distributed in a wide array of complex components, so to are the theories as to what factors contributed to their initiation. However, in all instances of the conclusive research of that has followed the period, one …show more content…
While war torn Europe was just beginning to reconstruct their infrastructure and financial systems, America was in the midst of a full upswing in productivity due to the previous wartime demands (Kevin Hillstrom, Defining Moments: The Great Depression and the New Deal, 8). This influx of industry efficiency helped to boost farming and factory output to meet the demands of a nation filled with returning veterans and budding families. Consequently, the American people of this decade would experience an upgrade in lifestyle unlike anything they had previously known. With the new widespread availability of affordable electricity, food, and transportation methods, the quintessential culture of “American Dream” began to spread nationwide (Kevin Hillstrom, Defining Moments: The Great Depression and the New Deal, 9).. Due to this newfound higher standard of living in peacetime, the financial confidence of middle class Americans continued to grow as they invested in the stock market, and indulged in entertainment outlets (Kevin Hillstrom, Defining Moments: The Great Depression and the New Deal, 9). Unfortunately, the party couldn’t last forever, and by the back end of the 1920’s warning signs of the upcoming depression began to rear its ugly …show more content…
This optimistic outlook was further reflected upon in Hoover’s acceptance speech of the Republican Presidential nomination: “We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land” (Robert McElvaine, The Depression and New Deal, 20). This confidence in the future of American prosperity was exemplified by the continued overproduction of goods and subsequent overconsumption of them: a dynamic that would be pounced on by greedy American businesses as they utilized negligent consumer habits to their benefit. An example of this issue was highlighted in an article titled “Keep the Consumer Dissatisfied” posted in Nations Business in 1929, where a manufacturer explained why people choose to buy a newer model car despite already owning a previous model that is only a few years old: “The only reason for (product) research is to keep your customers reasonably dissatisfied with what they already have” (Robert McElvaine, The Depression and New Deal, 18). Unfortunately, this opportunity was already past its breaking point. The reckless spending and unchanging wages of the American population had left them unable to afford anymore new and high priced goods; consequently, many businesses were left overstocked on inventory they could not sell. Meanwhile, the agricultural sector

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