Term Paper on Great Depression

This essay has a total of 1626 words and 10 pages.

Great Depression



The Great Depression
The Great Depression took place from 1930 to 1939. During this time the prices of
stock fell 40%. 9,000 banks went out of business and 9 million savings accounts were
wiped out. 86,000 businesses failed, and wages were decreased by an average of 60%.
The unemployment rate went from 9% all the way to 25%, about 15 million jobless
people.

Economic Indicators of the Great Depression
Indicator 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933
Unemployment
(in millions) 2.0 1.6 4.3 8.0 12.1 12.8
Average weekly earmings for
production workers (constant $) $27.00 $28.55 $25.84 $22.62 $17.05 $17.71
Bank suspensions because of
financial difficulties 499 659 1,352 2,294 1,456 4,004
Federal Government spending
(in billions of $'s) $2.9 $3.1 $3.3 $3.6 $4.7 $4.6
Value of US exports
(in billions of $'s) $5.8 $5.4 $4.0 $2.9 $2.3 $2.1


GREAT DEPRESSION
TIME LINE

1919
The end of World War 1 - Treaty of Versailles. The treaty demands payments and
repartions of war debts from the defeated countries.
1927
Some U.S. Banks fail because of bad investments and low prices for agricultural
products.
1928
Herbert Hoover is elected president
1929
The stock market fails in October, which sends millions of investers into bankruptcy.
1930
Hawley-Smooth Tariff Act raises the import duties on a wide variety of raw materials
and industrial products
1931
Hostilities between China and Japan begin resulting in increased defense spending,
and preperations for war to efficiently insulate Japan from an economic depression.
Hoover creates the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to lend money to businesses
to help prevent failing
1932
Franklin Deleno Roosevelt ( FDR ) is elected president.
1933
Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany and he puts into effect his 4 year plan of
economic recovery. FDR declares a federal bank holiday, to determine which banks
are solvent enough to re-open. FDR broadcasts the first fireside chat with America.
The 100 days congressional session approves 15 major acts, this initiates the new deal.
The World Economic Confrence is held in London. They fail to agree on international
polocies to cooperate combat in the worldwide depression.
1934
Wall Street trading is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Act. The new deal
policies are mandated by the democratic majorities in Congress.
1935
Through the National Labor Relations Act workers get the right to orginize and the
Social Security Act provides for old-age pensions nad unemployment insurances.
1936
Germany's second 4 year plan focuses on defense and the build up of arms
1937
FDR begins his second term. The recession begins. 1937-1938 unemployment raises to
20%. Congress defeats Supreme Court Reform Bill- emphasizing that the constitution
must stay the principle of government.
1939
Germany invades Chechoslovakia, and resululting in defense spending buildup in in
Great Britain, France and the United States. This ends the Great Depression of the
1930's.

CITY LIFE
Most people had to cut back on luxuries, and make old things last longer. The
telephone was the first thing to go. People stopped buying furniture, household
appliances, jewlrey, candy, etc. Yet on the other hand, gasoline, radios, electric
refridgerators, and cigarette sales kept going strong. Movies were one of the
strongest sales. It was as if people looked to Hollywood as an escape from their
problems. Families planted gardens on vacant lots. Fasion styles became simpler. The
depression made people turn their backs on their families. Many people lost their
homes. Divorce rates went down. Some Americans had it worse than others. People
who lost their jobs couldn't afford proper medical care or food. One out of every five
kids were malnurished. In 1933, starvation claimed 29 people in New York. People
used substitute cheap starched, like breat for milk. People fought for food in the
streets. There were food shelters to help people.

FARM LIFE
The ironic thing about the depression is that while thousands of people were starving in
the city, the farmers had more food than they could sell. The consumers didn't have
enough money to buy a lot of food. As consumer demand shrunk, prices for farmer's
products fell. Sometimes farmers could not even afford to pay the freight to send their
livestock to market. This left the farmers with no choice but to shoot and bury their
livestock and to let their crops rot in the feilds. Unable to sell their crops, farmers
couldn't afford to pay their mortgages. Many farmers had their farms reposossessed
by the bank. In 1930 parts of the South suffered a severe drought, and farmers there,
couldn't even afford to feed their families. During the depression, drought and dust
storms plauged the land. Some of the dust storms were so severe they buried houses,
forcing thousands of farm families to leave the Dust Bowl, as it was called. Eventully
the Federal government was able to reclaim the land by planting grass and trees, and
by using scientific agricultural methods.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/1545/

THE 1929 WALL STREET CRASH

In the 1920's, things were really rocking in the US and around the world. The rapid increase in
industrialization was fueling growth in the economy, and technology improvements had
economists believing that the uprise would continue. During this 'boom' period, wages of
workers increased along with consumer spending. This meant, higher wage caused consumers
to spend more.

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