Why was the American Depression of 1929 so sudden and so severe?

Essay by NarthilHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2004

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In what regards the depression, the main reason was 'The Wall Street Crash'. In the 1920s the stock market shares went skyrocketing at an incredible and alarming rate therefore people could speculate their rise and make fortunes out of this. Ironically it was speculation itself what brought 'The Wall Street Crash' upon the American people. In Thursday, October 24, also known as 'Black Thursday' 12,894,650 shares changed hands, many of them at such low prices that destroyed any dream or future that the people who had owned them had optimistically thought of. By 11:30 AM the market had turned into a wild rush to sell, people were running around in panic trying to recuperate at least some of their money, the Police had to keep their eyes wide open in case any tragedy would happen. Eleven well-known speculators had already killed themselves. This happened in only one day, in which historians now recognize as the awakening of the great depression (though not its beginning, which has been thought to have started a while before).

The impact that the Wall Street Crash had caused upon the American people was severe. The rate of unemployment was incredibly high, higher than ever before. By 1932 America was in the greatest depression of its history, the economy had reached the bottom, approximately 13 million Americans were unemployed, 'No Men Wanted' signs appeared in factories and businesses across the country, 5,000 banks had gone out of business since 1929 consequently at least 10 million people had lost their savings, some children did not even have no clothing, no shoes, and no food. The 'Roaring Twenties' now remained in the distant past.

To conclude, in my opinion the Wall Street Crash was the main reason for the depression even though there were so many...