It is considered as one of the longest and most wide-spread economic depression in the 20th century. The United States, was one of the most severely hit by economic depression that started in late s and ended in the early s. The onset of the Great Depression came with a shocking suddenness. Several years before the Great Depression, the American economy was doing good, considering that it was recovering from World War I.
Stock values had risen steadily and with a nearly unbroken pace since World War I according to Himmelberg , had placed great demands on the American economy, even before direct American participation began in Excessive demand led to a steep inflation of prices and set the economy up for an equally sharp deflation when the high rate of government spending rapidly slackened by By late , the signs of recovery were clear. A long period of prosperity had begun, marred only by brief slowdown in the growth trend and by the failure of certain sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, to keep pace.
The economic recovery of the s was seen as a good sign by the people. People from the higher levels of the society as well as the white-collar and blue-collar workers felt the growth of the economy. Production and consumption of the goods that are the stuff of modern industrial economy came into their own in the s. It was the newer, highly innovative industries that fueled the expansion of the s.
The enormous increase in such products and the rapid expansion of the automobile indicated that higher incomes and more modern consumption patterns were filtering down from the well-to-do through the middle class and the working class.
Advertising begun to flourish and adopted newer and more high-powered techniques for manipulating consumers. Although the people became optimistic for the future, the prosperity of the s was short-lived. National income grew rapidly, but the share of the increase going to those in the upper two-fifths of the income scale was far higher than for those lower down on it. Blue-collar workers enjoyed relatively stable employment, but their wages grew only modestly, and the income of family farmers did not grow commensurately with that of the urban middle class.
What Fueled the Great Depression? In order to understand the cures that ended the Great Depression, it is important that we should first look at the causes of the Great Depression. Many theories have been developed to explain the occurrence of the Great Depression. One of the most popular among these is the Keynesian model, named after John Maynard Keynes, a very famous economist.
The Keynesian explanation of the Great Depression according to Knoop centered on a major decrease in aggregate demand caused by sharp falls in investment and consumption.
The decrease in investment and consumption were the result of a huge decline in expectation. This fall in aggregate demand had real effects on the economy because of wage inflexibility in the labor market p. Another explanation was put forth by the supporters of the Monetarist theory of business cycles.
This decline in the money supply reduced the aggregate demand for two reasons — a lower money supply reduced aggregate spending and a decrease in the money supply reduced liquidity in the banking system, leading to banking failures and high real interest rates.
The decline in financial intermediation that resulted led to further reductions in spending, investment, and aggregate demand Knoop, According to Gordon and Wilcox there were different factors that led to the Great Depression. The Great Depression can be traced to a series of domestic spending shocks, both monetary and non-monetary. The initial decline in output during the period can be traced to a decline in consumption and residential investment expenditures.
Friedman and Schwartz argued that the Great Depression resulted from the perverse actions of the Federal Reserve in letting the money supply decline drastically.
The gold standard was believed to provide an equilibrium by means of a simple mechanism which seemed to work as if governed by a law of nature. Two of its supporters such as Hume recommended the free flow of the precious metals. This process would work best without any interference. This proved to be an illusion. According to Rothermund the Golden Standard did nit work automatically at all but depended on the existence of a powerful lender of last resort, an institution which was able to ensure the liquidity and stability of the world market.
Another factor that was often cited for the fall of the Great Depression on the United States was the failure of the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve System according to the National Council for the Social Studies was established in , in part to prevent bank failures by lending reserves to banks that were experiencing unusually high cash withdrawals. On the eve of the Depression, the first concern of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks should have been the overall health of the financial system.
But the regional presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks were hesitant to lend banks in their districts. In consequence, many banks were allowed to fail, and the failures caused fear among account holders in sound banks, prompting them to panic and withdraw their funds. The Federal Reserve System also raised interest rates in late , which discouraged business borrowing and contracted the money supply. Banks keep some of their reserves in the form of bonds.
When interest rates rise, the prices of bonds fall; banks then hold assets that have declined in value, yielding less revenue when banks sell them to raise funds to pay depositors National Council for the Social Studies, The First Wave of the Great Depression The breath-taking growth of the American stock market became the symbol of prosperity and became a gauge of the capacity of the United States to produce endless wealth.
Though limited by modern standards, the number of Americans drawn into stock market speculation grew rapidly and was far greater by the late s that ever before.
Indeed, the whole United States was caught unaware when the crash came in Consumers and investors were shocked and they lost their confidence. This aggravated the economic downturn, which became more and more visible in the months after the collapse of the market.
The fall of the market signaled the end of the era of prosperity. It wiped out the savings and confidence of many Americans. The United States did not expect that the economic crash in only marked the beginning of a decade-long economic depression. Politicians, businessmen and journalists believed that like the economic depression prior , the economic depression of will be short-lived.
According to Himmelberg , there was a deeply engrained belief among business circles that the modern economy, with its immense production and consumption of so great a variety and volume of consumer goods, had become virtually depression-proof. These beliefs and hopes proved vain. Unemployment rose steadily throughout ; consumer spending and production of goods and services fell relentlessly, even though gradually; the stock market continued its decline; farm prices collapsed; and many banks, squeezed by the inability of borrowers to repay loans, approached the brink of failure.
American exports, moreover, declined sharply as depressed conditions appeared in Europe soon after the American crash in late The Second Wave of the Great Depression The second wave of the Great Depression was more severe than the first. During the second wave, there were banking panics and failures that resulted in the crash of financial intermediation and investment.
Recovery from the Great Depression When Roosevelt came into power in , the gold standard was abandoned which resulted in the devaluation of dollar. France and other European countries, except Germany, also abandoned the gold standard. All countries that dropped the gold standard started to recover after doing so.
Once the gold standard was dropped, recovery was strong. According to Bernanke non-gold standard countries were found to have higher production, prices, money supplies, employment, interest rates, exports, and stock prices than their counterparts that remained on the gold standard. I have to do a word essay on history on any subject that takes place in the western hemisphere and I want to do it on the Great depression in the 's but I need a research question that narrows down my essay to certain points, it would be like this.
The great depression then section 6. I tried "what effects did the depression have on social life? Are you sure you want to delete this answer? Well, your question is a bit vague and convoluted. Did you mean social life as in activities that people participate in together like playing sports and going out to dinner? Or, did you mean society? So, I see what your teacher means. That said, there are a number of ways you can go with this topic.
How about tying the Great Depression into the recent economic crisis of the last few years? So, it could be a multi-layered topic that you can do plenty with. Of course you'd have to define what you mean by "economy", in terms which aspects of the economy you choose to focus on. Business and industry failure. Industries and businesses were highly affected too. This is because they were also working hand in hand with the stock market. Since the stock market had closed down, this meant that their savings and capital were lost.
This affected the labor in the businesses since they had to cut on the number of workers who worked in the corresponding companies. The stock market issue also affected the customers in that they stopped buying and spending on luxurious goods. This influenced greatly the companies that produced these commodities in terms of sales and also getting profit. The companies too had to close down Martin The Great Depression affected the farmers in a very adverse way.
Though they always survived other depressions that they encountered, this one was a big challenge to them. Most of the farmers were situated at the Great Plains before the Great Depression took place. The territory was affected so badly by drought and dust storms which were horrendous in nature.
They created a situation that was referred to as the Dust Bowl. The farmers were used to overgrazing, and now this had to combine with the effects of drought leading to a blow to the farmers.
The latter were even left without food and crops for their animals. This is because the grass that the animals could feed on had already dried up and disappeared in the long run.
The loose dirt was picked by the whirled wind, and topsoil got exposed. The farmers were left without crops as the wind picked up everything on its way Martin Small scale farmers disadvantaged.
Small scale farmers were more disadvantaged than the large scale farmers. They turned out to have a small piece of land on which they had to get their daily bread. Some of these farmers asked for tractors from their respective governments, and thus, they were made to pay some amount to cater for those. The hit that the farmers went through could not enable them to pay their debts.
They could also not make it to feed their families, not mentioning themselves. Some of the farmers had also capitalized on the stock market and bank. Since the stock market was affected, and as a result, the banks too, the farmers suffered as well.
Losing their investments and crops influenced greatly the way they related with each other and had an impact on their contribution to the economy of the land. Many people lost their jobs during this time of the Great Depression. Having lost their jobs, it was very difficult for people to bring food on the table.
Families were even forced to sell their houses and move to apartments. Others were made to move in together since the standard of living was going down day by day. Paying rent was now a very hard thing to achieve. It was even complicated for people to separate or divorce. This was the time when the rate of separation and divorce went down. This is because everyone needed the other to contribute, especially in paying the rent.
Due to ego, men who had already lost their jobs felt ashamed even to walk in the cities, and, therefore, they were forced to stay in their homes. If at all the wives and the children were working, they felt that their status was challenged.
Even in this situation, the two categories aforementioned were forced to go looking for jobs. As a matter of fact, it was hard to get jobs locally because every part of the country had been affected. Many people were seen on the roads looking for jobs. Many people could not afford luxurious goods like cars, and thus, very few cars were seen on the roads.
A lot of the cars were on sale since maintenance costs were unaffordable. The majority of teenagers were affected as they were the people who were seen on the roads walking up and down looking to get some job Martin Older men, women, and families at large were on the rails too. They would be seen boarding trains just to cross and see whether they could get some occupation.
Those who could not get the job would end up living in shanty towns which were outside the town. The houses in such places were made of affordable cheap materials like newspapers, wood, mud, cardboard, and iron sheets.
Farmers who could no longer afford their previous lives would be found in western California. This is because of the agricultural opportunity rumors that came from that area. It is true that there were periods of agricultural opportunities. The farmers were nicknamed as Okies and Arkies. The citizens always blamed the governing President, though he always talked about optimism. Some of the shanty towns which were far from big cities were named after him — for instance, Hoovervilles.
In almost every economic class, instructors will assign research papers about the Great Depression. This moment in history continues to affect decisions that economists, financial planners, and politicians make today.
Depression is a common topic for research papers in psychology classes. It's a very complex subject and one that offers many possible topics to focus on, which may leave you wondering where to begin.
Great Depression research papers discuss the factors that led to the economic disaster in the late 's. During the s and s, the United States experienced a period of extreme economic instability and decline now referred to as the Great Depression. Research proposal outline suggestions on the topic of the Federal Reserve's role in the Great moiprods.tkg of possible references. Posting ID:
Essay Topics about the Great Depression Itself This section contains topics that will focus students' attention on exactly what happened during the Great Depression. Describe two to three major causes of the Great Depression. The Great Depression The Great Depression is considered as one of the darkest times of American history. It is considered as a traumatic experience of those who lived through it and has a profound impact on the generations after.