The Great Depression

Topics: New Deal, Great Depression, Parenthetical referencing Pages: 6 (1189 words) Published: May 27, 2015

Imagine witnessing the faces of hopeless starving young children, frantic men and women lining up in front of closed banks that held their life savings, and/or the homeless living in cardboard shantytown. America had been doing great in its industrial economy, that is until the Great Depression. The Great Depression was one of the darkest times in U.S. economic history leaving many Americans unemployed and struggling to survive. It all began with the stock market crash of 1929. The crash affected the banks and resulted in many people losing their investments and causing the public to panic. With America’s industrial production dropping by half and the number of homeless people rising, America had lost all hope.

Unemployment was on the rise with each year leaving many homeless and desperate for a way to make money. The amount of unemployed Americans reached its highest count in 1933 with 15 million Americans marking 1933 the worst year of the Great Depression. Unemployment was so bad that the corners of New York city streets were crowded with people trying to sell apples, desperately looking for a way to make money. There were even food riots, people would break into grocery stores and steal any of the food they could get there hands on.

Crime rates soared as people were looking for a way to feed their families by either stealing money or even turning to mob leaders for help. Suicide rates also rose as did prostitution. Many banks had failed and people lost all their savings since the banks weren’t insured at the time, people had no way of getting their money back. Farmers got hit hard too, they were forced to let their crops rot since they couldn’t sell them and many had no choice but to leave the farms due to not having enough money to pay the rent. Many farmers burned corn instead of coal since it was cheaper and in some cases even formed groups to prevent milk from the farms getting to cities and towns in hopes that it would raise the price of milk but had no effect. Farmers didn’t really have it as bad as people who lived in towns since they could produce their own food, they still had to pay their taxes in cash.

President Roosevelt Franklin started working on the new deal following his inauguration in 1933. The new deal’s plan believed that the power of the federal government was needed in order to save the depression. The first new deal consisted of the passing of emergency relief programs, work relief programs, bank reform laws and agricultural programs. The first new deal focused on rebuilding the economy from the top down. One of the first acts of this new deal was the Agricultural Adjustment Act which focused on paying farmers to produce less crops. Another part of the plan was the National Industry Recovery Act which authorized President Roosevelt to regulate industry in an attempt to raise prices and stimulate economic recovery. The last part of the plan was the Tennessee Valley Authority which was intended to create many high paying jobs such as dam-building and flood control, by using millions of dollars to reform seven states along the Tennessee river.

The second phase of Roosevelt’s plan was known as the second new deal. The second new deals’ plan was to begin fixing the economy from the bottom instead of the top. President Roosevelt launched the Works Progress Administration to provide jobs such as building bridges,schools, and parks. The National Labor Relations Act was highly successful as it

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