The Great Depression

Topics: Great Depression, United States, Wall Street Crash of 1929 Pages: 4 (1133 words) Published: September 17, 2013
There are things in life worth living for, and there are things in life worth dying for. Money was one of those things in the 1920s. During this time period, most Americans were “eager to enjoy the good life”, to reap “all the benefits of the American economy” (Feinberg 21). It was because of this chase for extravagance and luxury at its highest forms, however, that led to the demise of the US economy. With this in mind, the Great Depression influenced the 1930s by setting the international socioeconomic foundations for decades to come.

The 1920s was an era known by many to be boisterous and blithe, without a trace of assiduousness. Never were Americans more determined to have fun and “eager to enjoy the good life” to reap all of the benefits that the American economy could give them (Feinberg 15). The post-war recession, which was the remnant of the First World War, was forgotten when Americans went on shopping sprees, thanks to the recently developed installment plan. This plan allowed them to shop even when “they did not have enough money to pay for their purchases” (Feinberg 21). The 1920s saw a 23% increase in the purchases of clothing, food, and gadgets and 33% more cars, appliances, and furniture. The good times had to come to an end, unfortunately. On September 5th, 1929, financial advisor Roger W. Babson warned that “sooner or later, a crash is coming, and it may be terrific”, but despite his warning, Americans kept going on their shopping sprees (Feinberg 23). A month later, on October 20, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, the direction of the stock Leonor 10

market, and then the economy, was set for the next decade. The stock market dropped 15% in just four days, and it lost $30 billion, or 40%, in market value (Amadeo Par. 3). This was only the beginning.

Most people agree that an important factor that contributed to the severity of the Great Depression was the speculated “money being poured into Wall Street” (Feinberg 25). Speculated money...
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