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Wall Street Crash, stock market crash in the United States in 1929.

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Wall Street Crash, stock market crash in the United States in 1929. In 1927, after having focused on investing abroad and with the US economy growing stronger, the financiers based in New York's Wall Street turned their attention to their home market. As they bought into the stock market, so the prices of securities rose. As they bought more and more, prices went higher and higher, and ordinary investors were attracted to invest by the apparently effortless boom that was created. By the middle of 1929 it was estimated that about nine million Americans (out of a population of 122 million) had capital invested in the stock market. Many invested all their savings, encouraged by incompetent or dishonest advisers. Companies were set up with misleading or even fraudulent prospectuses and, such was the faith in the market's ability to deliver extravagant returns, their shares were quickly snapped up. In March 1929 Herbert Hoover was inaugurated as president, and his predecessor Calvin Coolidge ventured the opinion that share prices were low. But some were beginning to worry that, like all bubbles, this one must burst. The Federal Reserve Bank raised the interest rate, but only by 1 per cent, and it advised banks not to lend clients money for stock market investment-advice later retracted as a result of pressure from one of its directors, who was heavily involved in stock market operations. ...read more.


A Federal Emergency Relief Administration expanded existing relief grants to the states, and a Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, provided work relief for young men under a type of military discipline. Congress established a Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA, to develop the Tennessee River in the interest of navigation and flood control and to provide electric power to a wide area of the south eastern United States. The most important legislation of 1933 involved the major economic sectors. As a climax to a decade of wrangling, Congress in 1933 enacted a complex new farm bill, the Agricultural Adjustment Act. It provided several mechanisms to help raise agricultural prices, but the one most extensively used involved contractual reductions of surplus crops in return for government payments. The National Industrial Recovery Act, or NIRA, was the most innovative early New Deal measure. It provided for two major recovery programmes-a vastly expanded public works effort, carried out by a Public Works Administration, and a complex programme to regulate American business and ensure fair competition. A National Recovery Administration (NRA) approved and enforced a set of competitive codes for each industry. The Second New Deal The hopes of 1933 for early recovery proved illusory. The US Supreme Court declared many of the hastily drafted early bills unconstitutional. ...read more.


concerned with a strike of migratory fruit pickers; and Of Mice and Men (1937), a tragic story of two itinerant farm labourers yearning for a small farm of their own. Steinbeck's most widely known work is The Grapes of Wrath (1939; Pulitzer Prize, 1940), the stark account of a family from the impoverished Oklahoma Dust Bowl migrating to California during the economic depression of the 1930s. The controversial novel, received not only as realistic fiction but also as a moving document of social protest, is an American classic. Other works include The Moon Is Down (1942), Cannery Row (1944), The Wayward Bus (1947), East of Eden (1952, filmed in 1955), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), and America and Americans (1968). In 1962 he wrote the popular Travels with Charley, an autobiographical account of a trip across the United States accompanied by a pet poodle. Steinbeck was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for literature. He died on December 20, 1968, in New York. His modernization of the Arthurian legends, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, was published posthumously in 1976. A major literary figure since the 1930s, Steinbeck took as his central theme the quiet dignity he saw in the poor and the oppressed. Although his characters are often trapped in an unfair world, they remain sympathetic and heroic, if defeated, human beings.1 ...read more.

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