The Great Depression Essay Examples

The Great Depression essay samples

The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and employment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its lowest point, some 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country’s banks had failed. Throughout the 1920s, the U.S. economy expanded rapidly, and the nation’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, a period dubbed “the Roaring Twenties.”

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper
We've found 37 essay examples on The Great Depression
Prev
1 of 1
Next

Role of New York Stock Exchange

The stock market, centered at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City, was the scene of reckless speculation, where everyone from millionaire tycoons to cooks and janitors poured their savings into stocks. As a result, the stock market underwent rapid expansion, reaching its peak in August 1929.

By then, production had already declined and unemployment had risen, leaving stock prices much higher than their actual value. Additionally, wages at that time were low, consumer debt was proliferating, the agricultural sector of the economy was struggling due to drought and falling food prices, and banks had an excess of large loans that could not be liquidated. On October 24, 1929, as nervous investors began selling overpriced shares en masse, the stock market crash that some had feared happened at last. A record 12.9 million shares were traded that day, known as “Black Thursday.”

Black Tuesday

Five days later, on October 29 or “Black Tuesday,” some 16 million shares were traded after another wave of panic swept Wall Street. Millions of shares ended up worthless, and those investors who had bought stocks “on margin” (with borrowed money) were wiped out completely.

Growing Consumer Debts 

As consumer confidence vanished in the wake of the stock market crash, the downturn in spending and investment led factories and other businesses to slow down production and begin firing their workers. For those who were lucky enough to remain employed, wages fell, and buying power decreased.

Many Americans forced to buy on credit fell into debt, and the number of foreclosures and repossessions climbed steadily. The global adherence to the gold standard, which joined countries around the world in fixed currency exchange, helped spread economic woes from the United States throughout the world, especially Europe. 

FAQ about The Great Depression

What Caused the Great Deppression?
...Germany's Weimar Republic was hit hard by the depression, as American loans to help rebuild the German economy now stopped. Unemployment soared, especially in larger cities, and the political system veered toward extremism. The unemployment rate reac...
How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression?
...However, through a New Deal program dubbed Works Progress Administration, women and men were given equal employment opportunities with the federal government. In my view, this helped in eliminating workplace discrimination against women. Furthermore,...
How did Great Britain, France, and the United States respond to the Great Depression?
...In the United States, the industrial production fell to 50 percent of what it was in 1929. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also known as FDR, pursued a policy called the New Deal. It created the National Recovery Administration, which required government,...
What Caused the Great Depression?
...Unless one lived in the time of the roaring and exciting 1920's, its hard to really know what the times really felt like, and more importantly, what really lead to the Great Depression. Based of research, and history a few causes were particullary ev...

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment