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Causes of the Wall Street Crash.

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Why did the Crash start? On 24 October 1929, some shareholders began to lose confidence and believing that the prices of shares could not continue to rise forever, decided to sell. A panic began, and so many shares were sold on that day that it became known as Black Thursday. The Wall Street Crash was under way. By Tuesday 29 October so many shares were being sold that the teleprinters could not keep up, share prices continued to fall, and people lost vast sums of money and were ruined. Causes of the Wall Street Crash The reasons that led to the Wall Street Crash can be put into two main categories: * Those to do with the overproduction of goods. * Those to do with money and the stock market. Reasons linked to overproduction that led to the Wall Street Crash: 1. Companies were producing too many goods. 2. American goods could not be sold abroad because other countries had put tariffs (taxes) on them to make them more expensive. 3. When the demand for goods began to fall, workers' wages were cut and some workers became unemployed, which meant that they could no longer afford to buy the new consumer goods. 4. Farmers could not afford to buy the new consumer goods. Reasons linked to money and the stock market that led to the Wall Street Crash: * People were allowed to borrow too much money and they could not afford to pay it back. ...read more.


They had to resort to charity, begging and even theft to feed themselves and their families. People were hungry and many felt worthless and ashamed. Farming Farmers, who had already missed out on the boom of the 1920s, were also affected by the Depression. Low agricultural prices meant that in some places farmers could not afford to harvest or market their crops, which were left in the fields to rot. With unemployment rising throughout America, people could no longer afford to buy the farmers' produce, even at low prices. In some areas, for example Oklahoma, terrible soil erosion meant that farmers could not even attempt to grow any crops. Many of these, having lost their homes and farms, left with their families to search for work elsewhere. Franklin Roosevelt - a new President On 9 November 1932, Americans voted in the presidential election. The Democrat Franklin Roosevelt stood against Hoover. The voters did not believe that Hoover had taken the Depression seriously enough or done enough to help them. Roosevelt was elected by one of the largest majorities in American history. The Wall Street Crash led to the Depression because it increased the numbers of people out of work. The Crash happened as a result of overproduction. Businesses were making more goods than were needed. People had either bought them already or could not afford to buy them, yet goods were still being produced. ...read more.


* Some people criticised Roosevelt for not providing enough help for the poor. * Many Alphabet Agencies only provided short-term relief for the unemployed. For example, the CCC provided work for six to nine months only. * The Depression did not really end until World War II broke out. * The rich resented having to pay higher taxes to help the poor, and many of them switched away from supporting the Democratic Party as a result of Roosevelt's policies. * Roosevelt was accused of weakening the power of Congress by trying to bulldoze measures through as if he were a dictator. Exam tips * When using the Alphabet Agencies as examples of Roosevelt's policies, you need to show that you know what the letters mean and explain what the agencies did. * If you are asked to explain how successful something was, you need to write about the successes and failures as well as giving your own overall conclusion. Civil rights Martin Luther King wanted the civil rights protest to be non-violent. He believed that peaceful protests, with no threats and no bullying, such as the boycott of buses, would help the blacks achieve equality. Even if violence was used towards them King did not believe that civil rights campaigners should respond. He had seen the success of this method of peaceful protest in India where Gandhi had used it to campaign for independence. He made this speech during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, which was when King emerged as leader of the civil rights movement. ...read more.

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