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The Great Depression - Essay Example

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Summary
The timeline of the existence of Great Depression varies for different nations but its main effect was between 1930 and the late 1930s though in some countries it stretched up to the middle of the 1940s decade…
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The Great Depression
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The Great Depression

Download file to see previous pages... The stock market crash in 1929 commemorated the start of the depression with the value of most shares dropping significantly awakening ruins in the finances with the value of currency decreasing in collaboration with the demand for goods (Ledbetter and Daniel 3). This created a situation of limited employment and resources in the nation. This was a period full of desperation to survive among families and individuals alike. Many lived in poor conditions stricken by famine. The effect of the depression was great among the bottom group of the employment ladder as they depended on the industrial community for a living. In the years before the depression, a big part of the agricultural portion of the economy was deep in trouble.
The course of the depression further accompanied with the Great Plains Dust Bowl of the 1930s worsened the problems and almost eliminated the sector. At the same time, the crisis response of the government at the time had limitations arising from the pressures for income at all levels of the administration. The decline in tax revenue collection furthered the problem (Ledbetter and Daniel 58). The stock market collapse forced the world trade to collapse causing the international community to adopt protective measures through imposing stiff tariffs on imported goods. This made the situation even worse as the goods were virtually impossible to purchase. The impact of this on society was devastating. By the year 1932, the industrial output of the United States was a shadow of itself having reduced by half. About 15-million people, constituting a quarter of the nation’s labor force, were not in active employment (Ledbetter and Daniel 17). The unemployed who could not afford to feed themselves, support families, and pay rent moved in with their families in apartments and houses that were crowded. Those in employment experienced deductions of up to 50 percent of their hourly wages (Ledbetter and Daniel 42). Banks failed and agricultural prices fell to the lowest point after the civil war. The unemployed had dependants and needed to pay rents and mortgages. In the end many could not cope and became homeless before moving into pitiful shantytowns called Hoovervilles developed all over the country with some sleeping under old newspapers dubbed Hoover blankets. The devastation was even greater among minority communities as it accompanied discrimination. Generally, the situation in the country at the time was depressing. Starvation traversed the nation accompanied by illness. The unemployed found it hard to feed themselves while most of them living in crowded conditions that were unhygienic (Ledbetter and Daniel 48). This deprived their immunity and made them more susceptible to infections and diseases. The situation was much worse for those living in Hoovervilles that were void of bathrooms and running water. In the years of the Great Depression, there was a large number of malnourished children due to the poor diet and lack of medical care. The Great Depression brought with it a sporadic diversity in the general sorts of behaviors of the public. The unemployed were starving and needed help which was not forthcoming from the government as it was also in a crisis at the time. At the time, the social security system was not existent. This prompted the residents of some towns to start and run their own charitable organizations to provide relief to the less fortunate. The display of generosity was through the soup kitchens ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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