Essay about The Great Depression

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The causes and far-reaching effects of The Great Depression are examined. Discussion includes its impact on both American cultures and nations around the world. The role of World War II and the New Deal in overcoming the Depression are explored.

The Great Depression began in October 1929, when the stock market in the United States dropped rapidly. Thousands of investors lost all of their of money and were forced to live on the streets often going without food. This crash led into the Great Depression. The ensuing period of 10 years ranked as the worst period of high unemployment and low business activity in modern times. Banks, stores, and factories were closed and left millions of Americans jobless, homeless, and without food. Many
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However there workers wages were not increasing nearly as fast as the companies profits. As industrial and agricultural production increased, the amount of the profits going to farmers, factory workers, and other potential consumers was far too small to create a market for goods that they were producing. Even in 1929 when the economy was flourishing after 10 years of growth almost half of the families in America where living below the poverty line and could not afford the goods the industrial economy was producing. As long as factories continued to expand there factories the economy remained strong. However they soon had created more plant space that could be profitably used. Factories were putting out more goods than consumers could buy.(ibid)
The poor credit structure of most banks in the 20's also helped lead to the depression. Farmers who were already in debt saw crop prices drop sharply in he late 20's. This greatly hurt then banks, especially those involved with the agricultural economy because the farmers crops prices were too low for them to pay of their debt. This led to many failures among smaller banks. The banking system was not ready to handle the depression. Some the countries largest banks put far too much money into the stock market and did not save

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