(Name) (Instructors’ name) (Course) (Date) The Great Depression Major causes The Great Depression, the worst economic depression in the history of the United States, is attributed to a number of significant domestic and worldwide factors. First among these is the crash of the stock market in 1929…
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Despite the fact that the stock market began regaining some of its losses towards the end of 1930, it was not sufficient to avert the onset of the economic depression. Another main cause was bank failures. The 1930s experienced over 9,000 bank failures. There was no insurance for bank deposits, hence with the failure of the banks, individuals simply ended up losing their savings. Because the surviving banks were not certain about the economic condition and had concerns about their own survival, they were not willing to issue new loans. This aggravated the existent situation and led to lesser expenditure. In addition to that was a drop in purchasing across the board. As the stock market had crashed and the advancement of further economic conundrums heightened, people across all classes stopped buying items. The result was a drop in the number of produced items, hence a reduced workforce. Individuals who had been laid off from their jobs were not in a position to deposit payments for items they had purchased via installment plans, leading to repossession of these items. The rate of accumulation of inventory began to increase. There was a rise of over 25% in unemployment which of course meant reduced spending that could abate the existent economic condition. The American policy with Europe also contributed in a great way to the Great Depression. With businesses starting to fall, the Smoot Hawley Tariff of 1930 was forged by the government in a bid to protect American governments. The tariff imposed high tariffs on imports resulting in reduced trade between foreign countries and America, coupled with retaliation in the economy (Brinkley, 604) President Hoover and the Republican Response to the Crisis In a similar fashion to the economic crisis of 2008, president Hoover assumed office immediately following the stock market crash in 1929. His response to the economic downturn was remarkably similar to the current response by the Federal Reserve and SEC. He did not want to meddle with the markets and looked to offer support to the banking system by making an offer to fund business in return for collateral. As such, he started programs of public works. The lengths taken by Hoover were obscured by the great lengths that the Franklin Roosevelt administration took. Public works programs during this period had a sizeable impact upon a generation reliant on soup lines to survive. Attempts by president Hover to resolve the economic crisis were in most instances unsuccessful. His loss to Franklin Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential therefore was not a surprise. Hoover thereafter devoted a lot of time over the next dozen years to the fight by the Republicans against the New Deal, and believed that President Roosevelt would function to compromise the political system of the United States with his extensive government programs. Six weeks following the death of Roosevelt, Hoover held a meeting with President Harry Truman in May 1945. Together, they planned to recover post-war Europe. Upon a request by Truman, Hoover travelled across the globe to afford the president a personal statement on food needs of the world. More significantly, Hoover rallied his fellow Republicans to offer support to President Truman’s food relief programs. Hoover worked as chairman of the newly-formed Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch which later came to be known as the Hoover commission, and worked in
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