A Paper on the Great Depression and Its Impacts on the U.S. History

A Paper on the Great Depression and Its Impacts on the U.S. History

Document details
Category: Economics Essay
Subcategory: International Economics
Words: 1138
Pages: 2

The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn ever in U.S. History, and one which extended to practically the entire industrialized world. The Depression began late in 1929 and lasted for about ten years. Many economists have their theories as to what brought all of this about. It is generally accepted that the main cause for the Great Depression was the combination of the greatly unequal distribution of wealth throughout the 1920's, and the extensive stock market speculation that took place during the latter part that same decade. The disparity in the distribution of wealth in the 1920's existed on many levels. Money was distributed unequally between the rich and the middle-class, between industry and agriculture within the United States, and between the U.S. and Europe. This imbalance of wealth created an unstable economy. The excessive speculation in the late 1920's kept the stock market artificially high, and eventually lead to huge market crashes. These market crashes, combined with the maldistribution of wealth, caused the American economy to capsize. Lives and livelihoods of the lower economic groups were devastated. Politicians were no longer admired and the strain between the races was high. Through it all, however, the people were able to find moments of relief in entertainment of many kinds. They all pulled together to stretch what little they had and found strength in themselves that they never realized was there. The "roaring twenties" was an era when our country prospered tremendously. The nation's total income rose from 74.3 billion in 1923 to 89 billion in 1929. The rewards of the "Coolidge Prosperity" of the 1920's were not shared evenly among all Americans, however. The top 0.1 of Americans had a combined income equal to the bottom 42! The same top 0.1 of Americans in 1929 controlled 34 of all savings, while 80 of Americans had no savings at all. The disparity of income between the rich and the middle class grew throughout the 1920's....

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