June 12th 2013
The Great Depression was a time period in history that spanned the majority of the 1930’s; that was a dramatic, economic downturn, the worst in U.S. history. Its affect was felt not only in the United States but by people all over the world. This widespread economic condition is now used in reference as the example of the worst that the economy could ever get. It affected so many people from every economic class, not only affected a company or a few number of people but it affected just about everyone. People’s personal income decreased dramatically, the profit people and companies made decreased, the governments tax revenue decreased as well, the price of things dropped because the value and worth of things dropped as well. Most of these events can be traced back to a number of things. The Great Depression was not a sudden collapse. It was destined to happen by the events that led up to it. “It is quite likely that it was the deﬁcit side of ﬁscal policy which was mainly responsible for ﬁrming up inﬂation expectations, since it was well understood at the time that deﬁcit ﬁnancing could lead to future inﬂation.” (Eggertsson 2005) Americans knew the path they were headed down, however no one acted and more serious events followed. Some of these significant events were: the crash of the stock market in 1929, the “Roaring Twenties”, “Maldistribution” or the wide division created between the rich and the poor, the closing of banks, the loss of jobs for the American people, and the halt on international trade.
One of the most significant of these happened October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday but also known as “The Great Crash,” “Crash of ’29,” “Wall Street Crash of ’29,” and many more dreadful nicknames. Black Tuesday was the most destructive and the biggest stock market crash in the history of the United States. After the crash, the entire United States was filled with worried Americans. Fear and panic quickly spread to everyone. At the time, the city of New York had grown largely and become very wealthy. New York’s population had risen to over a half of million people, which made it a metropolis. Also, Wall Street had become the most successful place on Earth. It was one of the top financial centers with the New York Stock Exchange as the center of it. The New York Stock Exchange was the largest stock market in the world. All of these things made it more susceptible to a crash or catastrophic event. Before the crash, the market was believed to be unstoppable with unbelievable stock prices and such a high level of success. Even though there were plenty of warnings about the stock market, people believed it could maintain the high levels. They believed that until the crash. Stock holders lost billions of dollars. The prices dropped and continued to drop for over a month. This dreadful day was known as “Black Tuesday.”
Leading up to Black Tuesday was the previous decade known as the “Roaring Twenties.” This decade was a time of joy, change, new technologies, new inventions, good money, happiness and women gained rights. This decade Americans broadened their horizons and began to do new things. Music changed, fashion changed, the way people danced changed, and the way people just lived their lives all changed. Women’s clothes began to show their knees, wearing make-up, showing arms and legs with their dresses, and cutting their hair shoulder length. Older women of the society looked down upon them. These new styles showed that the middle-aged women were becoming rebellious. Women also gained higher roles in society and could vote, have careers, have families, etc. All of these rapid changes led to more and more people spending more and more money. More companies were established producing all of these new products. Everyone was excited about the changes and eager to buy all the latest technology and products available. This made companies grow at a rapid rate and