DNY – John DiMarco
New York City
Things that happened years ago still have some kind of impact on the way we live today. Two specific times are the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. Both give an example of a high point and low point in the history of our country. The 1920s started off rich and prosperous, World War 1 had just ended; it inspired the financial and commercial foundation of New York City’s economy. American banks had loaned out billions of dollars to Europe when they were in war, and they continued to borrow even after for recovery loans. Due to the Young Plan and the Dawes Plan, these loans became guaranteed. The Dawes Plan was a payment plan for Germany; it was introduced as a way to keep Germany out of hyperinflation and to bring stability to the country while paying reparations. The Dawes Plan allowed Germany to go through its ‘golden years,’ but reparation payments were still a problem. The Young Plan was established to make these payments even more convenient for them; it reduced the amount of money they owed per year by billions. This made New York City an important economic location. Soon after, there was a banking boom and then was the start of the beautiful skyline we call our city. Many investment companies came to structure their businesses here. Buildings such as the Empire State and Seagrams building were constructed. It was a very positive and joyous time for New York. Due to all the construction, many new job opportunities arose; “the richer became richer, and thousands joined the growing middle class each year,” (Tomes 38). Transportation lines were introduced, they got people from borough to borough, and to where they needed to go. Queens and Brooklyn grew tremendously; you were able to have easy access to the city no matter where you lived. Not only did we become abundant in industry and finance, but in art and recreational activities as well. Music, art, literature and ever sports became a big thing during this time. New York City became the center for jazz, people such as, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, came to play at the Apollo Theater and other places all around town. Babe Ruth started playing for the Yankees just as Yankee Stadium was finished, although, some people weren’t too happy that it was located in the Bronx, as it was still growing at the time. Many African American authors and playwrights came together in a cultural movement called the Harlem Renaissance. They wrote about hardships and struggles they had to go through, as well as happy things. Big publishing companies stationed themselves in the city, not too long after would we become rich in retailing, advertising, fashion and marketing. New York City became the place to be by the end of the 1920s.
After starting off the decade with a big boom, we completely fell apart by the end. Europe continued to borrow money from us, still trying to recover; they needed more money than we could give out and weren’t paying much of it back. They were going down, and they brought us with them. Along with our country going into debt, the stock market crashed and added onto our misery. The Great Depression, October 1929 was a horrible time for us. Towards the end consumers stopped buying because they didn’t have the money and people were buying stocks on margin. We were gradually falling as a country, stock prices were dropping and people were selling in the…