Essay on Great Depression

Submitted By AmandaMiller2
Words: 602
Pages: 3

Essay #2 The economic downturn of the 1930’s deserves to be labeled the Great Depression. The end of 1929 the stock market crashed and flat lined the economy. People lost their investments, which in some cases was all their money. There has never been a greater downturn in our country’s history. The downturn was so bad it took us more than a decade to recover. The downturn deserves to be labeled the Great Depression economically, socially, and politically. Economically the decline of the 1930’s deserves to be called the Great Depression. People’s income dropped immensely. “Personal income dropped by more than half between 1929 and 1932; by 1933 industrial workers had average weekly wages of only $16.73” (Goldfield 245). Foreign exports dropped, lowering the hopes of economic recovery. “American exports fell by 70 percent from 1929 to 1932. As foreign markets shrank, so did hope for economic recovery” (Goldfield 245). The downturn battered farmers. “Commodity prices fell by 55 percent between 1929 and 1932, stifling farm income” (Goldfield 245). The economy plummeted and people just waited for change. “For three years, from 1929 to 1932, most of America waited for supply to create its own demand, waited for the business cycle to run its natural course, waited for the stock market to get back on its upward course” (Brady, Great 439). Socially the downturn of the 30’s deserves to be labeled the Great Depression. People went from living in nice houses, to living in shacks. “Urban families were also evicted when they could not pay their rent. Some moved in with relatives; others lived in Hoovervilles—the name reflects the bitterness directed at the president—shacks where people shivered, suffered, and starved” (Goldfield 245). Starvation became common in cities. “In New York City, 139 people, most of them children, died of starvation and malnutrition in 1933” (Goldfield 246). Farmers lost livestock in sandstorms, which caused a loss of money. “Livestock and wildlife did not have even…crude defenses. “In a rising sandstorm,” wrote Margret Bourke-White, “cattle quickly become blinded. They run around in circles until they fall and breathe so much dust they die” (Brady, Dust 167). Hispanic workers had a difficult time finding jobs. “Hispanic Americans also suffered. As mostly unskilled workers, they faced increasing competition for decreasing jobs paying declining wages” (Goldfield 247). Politically the descent of