The Great Depression

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King 1

American Studies

Assignment 4 part 2
July 25, 2013
The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a big tragedy that left a lot of Americans out of work and hungry. It affected many people’s lives and a lot of people suffered and even died. The depression lasted roughly 12 years. Many believe that the Federal Reserve Board had many failed policies. They caused a shrinking of the money supply that made economic conditions worse. The stock market crash on October 29, 1929 signified the beginning of the depression and lasted until 1941 when the US joined WW1. While most of the recovery had occurred before the war the last traces of problems ended during the war.
There were many causes of the Great Depression. The stock market crash of 1929 was the beginning of the downturn. Prior to this, companies were expanding and making a lot of money. The richest 1% of Americans owned 1/3 of America’s assets. Eventually the companies expanded all they could and wages were as high as they could go. These issues began to slow economic growth and a slowdown was inevitable. Americans were taking out too many loans to buy appliances and cars. The banks failed after the stock market crashed because they were operating without guarantees to their customers. This eventually created a panic among the customers and created many bank failures when the banks could not give them their money and the customers could not repay their loans. Another cause of the great depression was severe

King 2 drought conditions in the U.S., also known as the Dust Bowl. The Great Plains region was devastated by drought in the 1930’s forcing people to move or tear up their farms. Since most
American’s had little money nobody was buying anything. If nobody was buying anything, then nobody was making products to keep people employed. This led to a reduction in the workforce and a high unemployment rate. High taxes on imports also created less trade with other countries, adding to the economic slowdown.
The Great Depression finally ended after many programs were implemented. Beginning with the creation of the FDIC and the Emergency Banking Act and continuing with the Firesides
Chats to restore and boost American citizen’s confidence Roosevelt was able to stabilize the country and bring them out of the Great Depression. He instituted many programs designed to create jobs to get people working. He created the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, the
Agricultural Adjustment Act, and the Works Progress Administration to get people back to working in some way. He also started regulating the Stock Market through the SEC and regulating the banks through the FDIC to make sure something like the stock market crash never happens again. America’s involvement in WWII ended the Great Depression once and for all when 12 million Americans were sent into war leaving more jobs for Americans. Henry Ford’s production assembly line for the Model T was used for the production of war planes, engines, generators, four wheel drive trucks, grenades and bombs during the war. Henry Ford was very prosperous during the years prior to the Depression with his production of the Model T. He was forced to lay off many workers during the Great Depression. His production line for the Model T

King 3 was so innovative that he was able to use it to make many things for the war and put many
Americans, British and Canadians back to work.
The Great Recession that began in 2008 is similar to