The Great Depression
Though most Americans are aware of the Great Depression of 1929,
which may well be "the most serious problem facing our free enterprise
economic system", few know of the many Americans who lost their homes,
life savings and jobs. This paper briefly states the causes of the
depression and summarizes the vast problems Americans faced during the
eleven years of its span. This paper primarily focuses on what life
was like for farmers during the time of the Depression, as portrayed
in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and tells what the government
did to end the Depression.
In the 1920's, after World War 1, danger signals were apparent
that a great Depression was coming. A major cause of the Depression
was that the pay of workers did not increase at all. Because of this,
they couldn't afford manufactured goods. While the factories were
still manufacturing goods, Americans weren't able to afford them and
the factories made no money (Drewry and O'connor 559).
Another major cause related to farmers. Farmers weren't doing to
well because they were producing more crops and farm products than
could be sold at high prices. Therefore, they made a very small
profit. This insufficient profit wouldn't allow the farmers to
purchase new machinery and because of this they couldn't produce goods
quick enough (Drewry and O'connor 559).
A new plan was created called the installment plan. This plan was
established because many Americans didn't have enough money to buy
goods and services that were needed or wanted. The installment plan
stated that people could buy products on credit and make monthly
payments. The one major problem with this idea was that people soon
found out that they couldn't afford to make the monthly payment(Drewry
and O'connor 559).
In 1929 the...