The Great Depression

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 111
  • Published : April 21, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
The Great Depression

The Great Depression represents economic crises that affected North America, Europe and other industrialized area around the world. Classified as the longest and most severe depression, The Western World experienced the crisis for an entire decade that began in 1929 and ran through 1939.

The Great Depression began here in the US but turned into a worldwide issue. The collapse of the stock market on the New York Stock Exchange in 1929 was said to be the beginning of the depression and the stock market continued to fall over the next three years. Due to the massive decline in the market, thousands of individual investors experienced loss of businesses and financial institutions were living with daily strain that seemed irrecoverable, especially the one holding stock in their portfolios. In efforts to keep the spirits up of all Americans, President Herbert Hoover promised that the crisis would quickly run its course. Despite the President’s optimistic gestures and assurances by 1933, many banks were forced into insolvency resulting in the failure of 11,000 banks totaling almost half the banks in the US. In addition to bank failure, unemployment had risen to approximately 15 million Americans which is equivalent to 25-30 percent of the work force and by 1932; US manufacturing output fell to 54 percent of its 1929 level. Bread Lines, soup kitchens and the rapidly growing number of homeless people became a common sight in the cities and towns of America. Furthermore, farmers of the US were still trying to recover from their own economic depression of the 1920’s suffered more due to drought and falling food prices causing them to leave their farms and to abandon crops resulting in the contribution of starving Americans throughout the US.

President Hoover, a republican firmly believed that the US should not directly intervene in attempting to improve the economy and also thought that the government had no responsibility to create or...
tracking img