• 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...


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.


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.


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)

    the wind whipped the dust into storms which smothered everything in sight. Some of these storms were known as black blizzards. The top soil was lifted and carried eastwards leaving dunes of grit and sand behind. The soil was dropped on eastern states as far as New York and Washington DC, New England and ships in the Atlantic.

  1. 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.

  2. The Roaring Twenties

    * Sports became big money e.g. baseball with its legendary team New York Yankees. * Some sports stars became heroes like boxer Jack Dempsey. * With the increase of ownership of cars, it was easier for people to visit matches.

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

    dole however the unemployment continues to increase therefore the march was not working and people became desperate. This source is quiet useful because it tells us what unemployed workers did to get a job also this source agrees with the hypothesis title because it says that all Jarrow were taking

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

    People started to fear for the well faire of their money and so they started to withdraw their money from their bank accounts. They did so in trust of good, hard currency. They believed that they would soon not be able to withdraw their money because of the bankruptcy of their banks.

  1. 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.

  2. The USA 1918 – 41 Great Depression and Wall Street crash

    It helped the US out of depression and re-assured the American people that something is being done to help them through depression. The weakness in source F is that it shows limited information about the effects of the new deal on America as a whole on the people and industries

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