The Great Depression

Essay by shelby123High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2002

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In October 1929 the stock market crashed, destroying 40% of the paper values of common stock. Even after the stock market collapse, politicians and industry leaders continued to question positive predictions for the nation's market. But the Depression grew deeper, assurance faded and many lost their life savings. Businesses closed their doors, factories shut down and banks were unsuccessful. Farm profits dropped 50 percent. By 1932 around one out of every four Americans were unemployed.

The center of the problem was the huge gap between the country's creative ability and the ability of people to have. Great advances in creative systems during and after the war lifted the production of industry beyond the buying ability of U.S. farmers and wage earners. The savings of the wealthy and middle class, growing far beyond the possibilities of sturdy savings, had been drained into worried thought in stocks or real estate. The stock market collapse had been only the first of some blasts in which a weak arrangement of hearsay had been leveled to the ground.

The presidential campaign of 1932 was mainly a debate over the causes and possible answers of the Great Depression. Herbert Hoover, unlucky in entering The White House only eight months before the stock market crash, had struggled vigorously, but uselessly, to set the wheels of production in movement again. His Democratic challenger, Franklin D. Roosevelt, already popular as the governor of New York during the rising crisis, argued that the Depression halted from the U.S. economy's original errors, which had been provoked by Republican policies during the 1920s. President Hoover said that the economy was basically sturdy, but had been shaken by the effects of a worldwide depression -- whose causes could be traced back to the war. Behind this argument put a clear suggestion: Hoover...