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The Great Depression And The Dirty Thirties

1134 words - 5 pages

There were many causes of the Great Depression (need help on the first sentence). Yes, the stock market crash was a main reason of the Depression, but it actually began long before that, with the Roaring 20’s. With such a large disparity between the rich and the poor, the overproduction of goods (too much too quickly), and people racing to buy stocks, it was only fitting that it would soon come to an end. Before it actually crashed, the stock market played an important factor leading up to the Great Depression as well. As people were borrowing money to pay for stocks (on margin), they became more and more in debt, and caused the stock market crash to be a huge surprise to them. During the summer of 1929, an “ordinary recession” occurred, where people stopped buying things and goods piled up, due to their debt. Also, bank firms, which had received record profits during the ’20s, had invested their money into expanding, but as workers were no longer able to continue expanding it, soon had to close. (need help on a thesis statement)
Finally, investors went into “panic mode” on October 24th, 1929, and began trading and dumping their shares, totaling a record of 12.9 million. Of course, following “Black Thursday,” the more well-known “Black Tuesday” ensued as a result of this. Between Black Monday and Black Tuesday, the market lost 24% of its value, and investors bought and traded over 28.9 million stocks. These stocks, now worthless, were used as firewood for some investor’s homes. The Dow Jones Company is perhaps the greatest example for this crash. Dow Jones started at 191 points at the beginning of 1928, then more than doubling to 381 points by September 1929. The crash caused their record 381 points to plummet to less than 41 points, over 90% of all stocks lost. Dow Jones did not begin recovery until the turn of the century.
For the next ten years, America was in a state of unemployment, poverty, and overall hopelessness. Many people blamed President Hoover for starting the Depression, especially as he had promised that the future was “…bright with hope” during his inaugural address. Herbert Hoover became president in 1929, and just seven months afterward, the stock market crashed. Hoover believed that the government should have a small role in society, so he did little to help the economic state. For four long years, people blamed Hoover for the poor economy and unemployment rates. Due to their loss of money, people were forced to foreclose their homes and were unable to pay rent. These people lived in makeshift homes, made out of wood, metal, cardboard, or any other materials they could get. Most of the time, these houses were all gathered together in the city in a park or just a street corner, dubbed “Hoovervilles” due to their hatred of the President.
Despite Hoover’s refusal to help, the election of 1932 brought new hope to the American people. Democratic candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt soundly defeated Hoover and promised to...

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