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The Great Depresion - Research Paper Example

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The Great Depression The Great Depression was one of the biggest tragedies in the history of America that Americans have been into. “The Great Depression was a worldwide economic crisis that in the United States was marked by widespread unemployment, near halts in industrial production and construction, and an 89 percent decline in stock prices” (Taylor 2012)…
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The Great Depresion
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Download file to see previous pages Poverty was a major issue of that time as above 60 per cent people lived below the poverty level. The uneven division of wealth between the rich and the poor was the consequence of unequal distribution of funds and resources between agriculture and industry. Hundreds of thousands of Americans became unemployed during the Great Depression. The Great Depression marked the commencement of involvement of the government of America into the society in general and the economy in particular. The decade before 1929 was fairly prosperous and opportunistic for the American people. Then one day, on 29 October, 1929, the Great Depression started with the crash of the stock market. “During the next three years stock prices in the United States continued to fall, until by late 1932 they had dropped to only about 20 percent of their value in 1929” (Nelson n.d.). Panic struck the Americans as the stock prices fell down without any indication of recovery. This caused Americans to start selling their possessions in large numbers while the number of purchasers constantly declined. The stock market that seemed an obvious means to gain financial stability, rapidly transformed into the way to bankruptcy. The first and the foremost sufferers of the crash of the stock market were the banks which had taken money from the public and had invested in the stock markets. Crash of the stock market caused those banks to get closed. Closing of the banks added to the panic of the people of America. In an attempt to save their money by withdrawing it from the banks that were still open, Americans rushed towards the banks. The open banks were forced to close by such a massive withdrawal of savings. The banks were left with nothing to do business from. Lack of the ability of people to recover their savings from the bank after it had closed caused many who could not make it to the banks in time become bankrupt. The failure of banks was so immense that above 11000 of some 25000 bank in America had closed between 1929 and 1933. “[T]hroughout the whole of this period there existed in one of the chief financial centres of the world a lack of balance between long- and short- term investment which was itself conducive to disequilibrium and latent with dangers of extensive catastrophe, should anything occur to disturb the insecure prosperity elsewhere” (Robbins 2007). The Great Depression also affected the business and industry in America. Companies started to downsize and reduce the salaries of their employees after they had lost a major portion of their equity in the bank closures and the crash of the stock market. On the other hand, there was an immense decline in the number of consumers as people controlled their savings, only to spend on things they could not live without rather than things that provided them with luxury. This attitude of the consumers served as a disincentive for the businesses and they were left with no option but to fire the employees and reduce the salaries of the remnants. Some businesses completely shattered and all of the employees were left unemployed. In any of such hard times that preceded the Great Depression, one community that was always able to survive was that of farmers as they at least used to have the stock to feed themselves. The Great Depression was a hard time even for the farmers as their plains were hit by a drought and a lot of powerful storms. The drought is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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