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The Great Depression Essay

1517 words - 6 pages

America and indeed the world were on a high as the 1920's started coming to a close. The Republican Presidents who had served from the end of the First World War, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, had an easy time getting the Presidency due to the publics lack of trust in the Democrats. The Republicans position was only strengthened as the economy continued to improve. The seemingly only hope the Democrats had of gaining power and the Presidency was a disaster. And a disaster they got, first obviously noticed with the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Both parties handled matters differently, though they Democrats were more prepared to try ways to ease the hardships. Had the great depression not occurred some important changes might not have come about? There would be no social security, no taxation, quite likely higher unemployment and therefore lower living standards and a larger gap between the rich and poor, and the private sector would have a much greater effect on the running of the country.As the prosperous twenties grew to a close, none expected the joy and fun to end. None would have predicted the collapse of the Stock Market on "˜Black Thursday', the 24th October 1929. The good times had come to an end and the American people were in for the worst depression ever in the history of the western world. The two major political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, both held power a some stage during this time and approached the economical and social ramifications of this decade in different ways. The Republican representative at the time was Herbert Hoover and was more the victim of bad timing then anything else as he was elected just months before the Stock Market Crash. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the Democratic President and capitalized on Hoovers bad luck and help his nation to prosper once again on the way to becoming the longest serving President in American history.The first major happening, and the one that is often (wrongly) thought to be the cause of the Great Depression was the Stock Market Crash. Although it was considered an "˜out of the blue' happening, the fact was that the economy had been slowing down for months before on the 24th October, 1929, Black Thursday, Wall Street Collapsed. The market recovered slightly on Friday before diving in oblivion on Black Monday and Tuesday of the next week.At the time of the collapse the Republican Herbert Hoover was President. As was Republican policy, he did not interfere, instead thinking that the crisis would pass or the private sector would fix it. It was not the place of the federal government to be meddling with the economy any more the it had to. The Democrats were not in power at the time of the crash but when they did come into power they the New Deal, an initiative of Roosevelt, included money to boost the economy, he also closed all banks for four days to reorganize them. These and many others proved successful to an extent and were a lot more positive then...

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