The Impact of the Great Depression Essay
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The Impact of the Great Depression
The stock market crash of 1929 sent the nation spiraling into a state of economic paralysis that became known as the Great Depression. As industries shrank and businesses collapsed or cut back, up to 25% of Americans were left unemployed. At the same time, the financial crisis destroyed the life savings of countless Americans (Modern American Poetry). Food, housing and other consumable goods were in short supply for most people (Zinn 282). This widespread state of poverty had serious social repercussions for the country.
America’s agricultural economy had already been suffering for a decade when nature conspired against the country to exacerbate the Great Depression. From 1931 through 1939,…show more content…
Everyone scrounged about for small, labor intensive jobs at low wages. Even women and children had to work to subsidize the family income. The recently homeless lived in shantytowns nicknamed “Hoovervilles” after President Hoover who was moving slowly and ineffectually to deal with the Depression (Wikipedia). Little food was available and many had to search garbage heaps and other such locations for any kind of sustenance. The economic crisis had ushered in a decade of unprecedented mass poverty and poor living conditions.
Herbert Hoover, the president in office when the Great Depression hit the country, did very little to ameliorate the devastating situation. Hoover underestimated the seriousness of the crisis, misdiagnosed the causes of the problems, and clung to his beliefs in individual achievement and self-help. His corrective measures, aimed at inflation and the federal budget, were thus damaging themselves. Furthermore, he hesitated to mobilize government resources to aid Americans and instead appealed to private groups to lend a hand (Encarta). Thus Hoover’s administration did little to mitigate the impact of the Depression.
With no relief in sight from the government or anyone else, people’s anger and resentment grew. The Communist party and other socialist groups saw a swell in their numbers. Labor strikes and protests against the government began to erupt. The most notable of these was the Bonus Army March on Washington. More than
The Great Depression and the New Deal Essay example
999 Words4 Pages
Great Depression The Great Depression and the New Deal In response to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt was ready for action unlike the previous President, Hubert Hoover. Hoover allowed the country to fall into a complete state of depression with his small concern of the major economic problems occurring. FDR began to show major and immediate improvements, with his outstanding actions during the First Hundred Days. He declared the bank holiday as well as setting up the New Deal policy. Hoover on the other hand; allowed the U.S. to slide right into the depression, giving Americans the power to blame him. Although he tried his best to improve the economy’s status during the…show more content…
The relationship between the federal government and the American people changed radically. The government now had a more powerful affect on people’s social and economic lives. During Herbert Hoover’s administration any mistakes were made after the Stock Market crash. After the crash during the depression Hoover took action but made a few mistakes along the way. Many of Hoover’s acts were passed by congress and signed by Hoover himself. His worst offense was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which raised tariffs. The raising of tariffs was the worst possible thing that could have occurred. Hoover tried his best to reassure the country that the economy would become improved, although it actually worsened. To improve things after the crash Hoover prepared all Federal Departments to speed up public works. He did this with hopes to generate supplementary jobs and bring back the economy. As well, Hoover asked congress if they would reduce spending, and use what was no longer required to restart public works. Unfortunately for Hoover a collapse in Europe and a change in foreign trade caused prices for United States manufactured goods and farm equipment. After this occurrence President Hoover asked congress once again for more money, his time he wanted the money for farm loans and to establish the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which would be used to help buildings in need as well as banks and railroads. With all of Hoovers efforts by July 1932 the Depression began