• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Was the Great depression well under way before the collapse of the stock market in October 1929?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Many saw the Wall Street crash as the beginning of the depression, however this isn't entirely realistic. It was responsible for a large contribution to the depression; but as the American economist Milton Friedman stated, "the stock market (crash) in 1929 played a role in the initial depression"1. However it is truly looked upon as the 'trigger' to the worldwide economic recession. I t can also be argued that the depression began to show signs of weaknesses before 1929. Before the actual Great Depression, the Harvard Economic Society and Galbraith believed, "the 'seven years of plenty' had run their course" 2, and generally believed that it was natural for prosperity to be followed by a slump, and named this as part of the economic cycle. This can support the fact that some experts expected an economic slump, as they believed that American prosperity balanced on very insecure foundations and that the economic infrastructure could not support such rapid expansion. The USA may have earned the short-lived name of the 'roaring twenties', and may have had Gross National Product that rose from $72.4 billion in 1919, to $104 billion in 1929. ...read more.

Middle

One example of how cultivation suffered was when the new prohibition laws were passed, this meant the grain trade suffered; this had to be accepted as a new era in which the farmers would have to eventually become accustomed to. This depression in agriculture in its own right was not a major sign of a 'general' depression, but Doug/Susan Willoughby stated, "1927...regarded as the year in which storm clouds began to appear over the American economy."5, which argues that there were many other issues that could have caused the Great depression. Joining the Farmers were the African-Americans, who suffered poverty before the Great Depression in 1929. George Schuyler, an African-American intellectual, commented during the Depression years that, "the reason the Depression didn't have the impact on the Negro that it had on the whites was that Negroes had been in the Depression all the time".6 As unemployment was low in the USA before the Great Depression, people were earning money to survive comfortably, and infact record numbers of people had a disposable income. Many people seemed to borrow extra money on 'easy credit' but this seemed fine as most citizens had employment with a reasonable income. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a consequence of this vicious circle, the countless citizens involved in the stock market began the 'panic selling of shares that brought America's golden age of prosperity to a close'. In conclusion, it is certainly not accurate to claim that the Great Depression was 'well under way' before 1929, despite the fact that the Agriculture, aswell as other areas of industry already suffering slumps in trade. A majority have agreed that Depression could not have been avoided as the Government stood by Laissez-faire politics, which provides no controls or protection for the economic structure that would allow the country and economy to thrive. In agreement to this John Hersch made a description about Governmental control, stating, "You had no Governmental control of margins...Anything went, and anything did go"8. 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression#The_Stock_Market_crash 2 The USA 1917-45 - Doug/Susan Willoughby 3 The USA 1917-45 - Doug/Susan Willoughby 4 The USA - 1917-45- Doug/Susan Willoughby 5 The USA - 1917-45- Doug/Susan Willoughby 6 The USA - 1917-45- Doug/Susan Willoughby 7 Prosperity, Depression and the New Deal - Peter Clements 8 Prosperity, Depression and the New Deal - Peter Clements ?? ?? ?? ?? Was the Great depression well under way before the collapse of the stock market in October 1929? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. Explain the Causes and Effects of the Great Depression.

    p.31, 1997). In some cases they actually died of starvation. Alongside hunger, Suicides also became an epidemic during the Depression. In 1932, 23,000 Americans committed suicide (Brooman. p.30, 1997). This was the highest yearly figure in American history. In fact, between 1926 and 1933, suicide rates increased from 12.6 per 100,000 people to 15.9 (Smith.

  2. The crash (causes and consequences of the Wall Street Crash)

    This continued after the war. Areas affected by the dust storms By 1930 much of the land had been over-farmed and was already losing its fertility. Then came year after year of hot summers, driving wind and little rainfall. Without its grass covering, the top soil turned to dust and

  1. The Wall Street crash, the great depression and its how it affected the lives ...

    This was largely down to the tariffs that had been placed on American goods by the Europeans that had been retained despite America's financial difficulties. The fact that there was no longer a European export sales market to turn to in times when the American public could not buy enough

  2. The Roaring Twenties

    Hundreds of licensed bars and brewery's soon became out of business, leaving large numbers of people unemployed. However, the new law began to offer criminals undreamed opportunities to make extremely vast amounts of money, keeping the tradition of selling and the consumption of alcohol and liquor very much alive.

  1. The Roaring Twenties

    MUSIC (JAZZ) * It was developed out of ragtime and blues music among black people in the southern parts of the USA. It rapidly spread throughout the USA in 1920s and provided black musicians with a way of gaining self-respect and admiration. Successful artists included Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

  2. What caused the great depression?

    For instance, one person would buy another's shares using credits, that person now would sell the shares to another person who pays with them with borrowed money. The second person would not pay the first back. It all operated from banks, which were willing to loan money.

  1. 'The causes and effects of the great depression caused equal suffering to all of ...

    Furthermore, the unemployed were offended by the means tests. The march was a form of protesting. The source shows a political effect of the depression, as it shows the response to the government actions, or rather lack of actions. Also shows that the dole was not a successful policy.

  2. The Great Depression

    During this time, the stock prices for the United States declined a devastating thirty-three percent (Paul Evans). This terrified people, which unsurprisingly lead them to not purchasing items like they had originally. When people stopped spending like they normally did, this caused a chain reaction that lead to the decline of production for manufacturers and merchandisers (Romer).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work