Could the Great Depression be describes a time of desperation?

Essay by ruby_redHigh School, 12th grade October 2004

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The Great Depression could not be described as a time of complete economic desperation; it was however a time of social adversity. While many millions of people endured the harsh conditions that occurred during the Depression, the hardship was not uniform; the levels of people's suffering and their despair varied greatly depending on their class and country. In the United States, where the economic crash first occurred, many businesses closed down due to bankruptcy or reduced their output or employee numbers in order to stay solvent in the unstable economic atmosphere. However, there were individual businesses and even entire industries that survived effortlessly and even prospered. There were also many social issues that individuals had to deal with during the Depression; homelessness, education, health and unemployment. Although these problems became a concern to all members of society, it was mostly those who were already on the bottom of the social ladder who became despairing.

Even in the depths of the economic and social darkness, the majority of people did not see their situation as hopeless and the never gave up their trust that things would eventually grow to be prosperous again.

The stock market crash set off a chain of events that led to the unexpected economic problems that the United States encountered during the Great Depression. Banks faltered after millions of arm-chair investors went bankrupt and the banks could not collect on the loans they had paid to these investors. The great loss of money that many banks faced evolved into further universal financial difficulties. With very little money readily available banks started to close down. People, scared of a complete collapse, started to withdraw their money from banks, which brought about the ruin of almost 700 banks in 1929 alone, and the banks, in a panic...