Breaking

These photographs capture the American struggle during The Great Depression, 1929-1940

 

No one could say exactly when it began and no one could say when it would end. Initially, he did not even call it depression. At its worst it was a recession, a brief recession, a "correction" in the market, a glitch in the rising curve of prosperity.

Only when the whole import of those heartbreaking years had sunk, did it become the Great Depression - great because there was no other remotely like it.

Looking back, we see it as a whole—as a clean decade between the Roaring Twenties and World War II, perhaps the most important ten years in American history, a watershed era that perhaps stunned and changed the nation. .

But it has not been easy for subsequent generations to understand its devastating impact. The Great Depression is right on top of the hill of memory; It's been so long after all.No one could say exactly when it began and no one could say when it would end. Initially, he did not even call it depression. At its worst it was a recession, a brief recession, a "correction" in the market, a glitch in the rising curve of prosperity.

Only when the whole import of those heartbreaking years had sunk, did it become the Great Depression - great because there was no other remotely like it.

Looking back, we see it as a whole—as a clean decade between the Roaring Twenties and World War II, perhaps the most important ten years in American history, a watershed era that perhaps stunned and changed the nation. .

But it has not been easy for subsequent generations to understand its devastating impact. The Great Depression is right on top of the hill of memory; It's been so long after all.


The Great Depression began in August 1929, when the economic expansion of the Roaring Twenties ended. A series of financial crises halted the contraction. These crises included a stock market crash in 1929, a series of regional banking panics in 1930 and 1931, and a series of national and international financial crises from 1931 to 1933.

The recession hit the bottom in March 1933, when the commercial banking system collapsed and President Roosevelt declared a national banking holiday. Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) declined by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession.

Although the Great Depression was relatively mild in some countries, it was severe in others, particularly in the United States, where, at its nadir in 1933, 25 percent of all workers and 37 percent of all non-agricultural workers fully worked. were out.

Some died of hunger; Many others lost their farms and homes. Homeless tramps boarded goods trains crossing the country.

Ejected cotton farmers, the "Okays" stuffed their wealth into dilapidated Model Ts and moved to California in the false hope that the posters about plentiful jobs were true. By 1933, industrial production had declined by 50 percent, international trade had declined by 30 percent, and investment had declined by 98 percent.


Cities around the world were badly affected, especially those heavily dependent on industry. Construction was almost stopped in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered losses due to a nearly 60% drop in crop prices. Faced with dwindling demand with few alternative sources of jobs, sectors dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most.

The agriculture sector remained dry, businesses and households defaulted on a record number of loans, and more than 5,000 banks failed. Hundreds of thousands of Americans found themselves homeless, and began to gather in shacks—called "Hoovervilles"—that began to appear across the country.

Most countries in the world began to recover from the Great Depression in 1933. In the US, recovery began in early 1933, but the US did not return to 1929 GNP for more than a decade and the unemployment rate was still around 15%. Despite falling from a high of 25% in 1940, 1933.

The U.S. continued through most of Roosevelt's years (and the 1937 recession that interrupted it). There is no consensus among economists about the driving force for economic expansion.

The common view among most economists is that Roosevelt's New Deal policies either caused or accelerated reform, although his policies were never aggressive enough to pull the economy out of recession completely.


Some economists have also drawn attention to the positive effects from Roosevelt's words and actions reflecting inflation and expectations of rising nominal interest rates. It was a rollback of the same reflexive policies that led to the recession in late 1937.

One contributing policy that reversed the deflation was the Banking Act of 1935, which effectively raised reserve requirements, leading to a monetary contraction that helped thwart recovery. GDP returned to its upward trend in 1938.

The general opinion among economic historians is that the Great Depression ended with the advent of World War II. Many economists believe that government spending on the war or at least a quick recovery from the Great Depression, although some believe it did not play a huge role in the recovery, although it did help reduce unemployment.


The Great Depression changed the American political and economic landscape. This produced a major political reorganization for the interventionist government, to varying degrees, creating a coalition of large-city ethnographers, African Americans, organized labor, and Southern Democrats.

It strengthened the federal presence in American life, spawning innovations such as national old age pensions, unemployment compensation, assistance to dependent children, public housing, federally-subsidized school lunches, insured bank deposits, minimum wages and stock market regulation.

It radically changed labor relations, creating a revived labor movement and a national labor policy protecting collective bargaining. It transformed the agricultural economy by introducing federal price support. Above all, it prompted Americans to view the federal government as the agency of action and reform and the ultimate keeper of the public welfare.

Recession memory also shaped modern theories of economics and resulted in many changes to the way the government handled economic downturns, such as the use of stimulus packages, Keynesian economics, and social security. It also shaped modern American literature, resulting in famous novels such as John Steinbeck

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