The Impact of the Great Depression

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The Impact of the Great Depression

"We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but given a chance... we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation" -Herbert Hoover

Less than one year before the greatest economic downturn America would witness to date, our own president demonstrated the confidence of America and her economy. In fact, a limited number of Americans observed any reason to question the strength and stability of the nation's economy in the first months of 1929. The general public was not alone in their inability to see the impending crash. The public tended to agree with their new president. America believed that the booming economy of the previous years would continue to obtain new heights of growth and with that growth changes in society would be born.

Irving Fisher and other economists attempted to inform doubting citizens that Hoover was dwelling upon "a permanently high plateau" of prosperity when it came to his confidence in Wall Street (Wecter1). Fifteen months after Hoovers speech those words returned to haunt him, as the American economy plunged into the severest and most prolonged economic depression in history.

On October 21, 1929, stock prices dipped sharply, alarming those who had become accustomed to an uninterrupted upward progression. Two days later, after a brief recovery, an even more alarming decline began. J. P. Morgan and Company and other big bankers managed to stave off disaster for short period of time by conspicuously buying up stocks to restore public confidence. This However did not last long and on October 29, all of...