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The Life Of America During The Great Depression

2824 words - 11 pages

The Life of America During the Great Depression Black Thursday"”the Stock Market crashed, sending people across the United States into havoc and frenzy. With the unsuspecting jolts of the economical earthquake reverberating, it was necessary to fend for themselves in finding food, clothing, employment and also adequate shelter. This is the story of their way of life, sweat, tears, joy, and hard times. No one knows for sure when the Jazz Age of food, fun and flappers began, but its conclusion was quite clear"”October 24, 1929, the most enormous and damaging Bear Market the world would ever encounter. The nose-dive of the stock market is attributed to the confused group of American bankers who did not succeed in ceasing the rapid and feverish trading (Snowman 43). Over eight million stocks were exchanged one day in March of 1929. The undulations of the market rose considerably and consistently: Fortunes were gained and lost overnight. Radio shares, which withstood the violent fluctuations of 1928, went up during the year from 85 points to 420, Du Pont from 310 to 525. In 1929 the leaps and bounds of the previous year became even larger"”both upward and downward. Buying and selling took place at a more frantic pace than ever before. (42) Every person wanted to gain. People who wanted to borrow found lenders and those who wanted to lend found borrowers. Each lived on profits others were expected to make (43). The market made a tremendous effort to pick itself off the ground like it had in previous panics. Because of the crushing blow, it was left handicapped and thus introduced the Great Depression. The public had very contrasting reactions to The Crash; in Southern California, particularly the San Gabriel Valley, reporters found little interest or importance in Black Thursday. A single headline article in the Alhambra Post-Advocate, dated October 24, 1929, proclaims "Exchange is Demoralized in Big Rush." The report goes on to describe the situation that day in New York. The definition of "demoralize" is to "1 lower the morals of; corrupt... 2...weaken the spirit of, courage, or discipline of" (Thorndike and Barnhart 245). In using the word "demoralize," Alhambra implies that the stock exchange was "corrupted" or "weakened in spirit and discipline" because of a "big rush," as if all that mattered was the selling of shares. Little did they know that this "big rush" would grow into something more than just that and end up in the laying off of many employees. Over in the East Coast, across the country, New Yorkers were hustling around creating crazy chaos, because they hold the established Wall Street. The enormous industries continued to assemble and produce their products even though most Americans could not afford to purchase them. (These manufactured goods were fancy home appliances and automobiles.) These consumer items could not be exported because foreign...

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