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The Great Depression Essay

Essay Topic:

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Thesis Statement: “The Depression reached into every area of economic life, and thus into every area of social life as well.” I. There were different factors that lead to the Great Depression.

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A. Construction and automobile industries began to decline due to lack of diversification. B. Supply was greater than consumer demands.

C. Crop prices were low, so farmers could pay off their debts.
D. International trade began to decline.
E. The international debt of World War I.
II. Stock market crash of 1929 was not the cause of the Great Depression. A. 9,000 American banks closed down due to bankruptcy between 1930 and 1933. B. The American gross national product dropped severely, 25% in 3 years.

III. Unemployment dropped significantly.

A. Americans thought in the way if they are unemployed, they were in personal failure. 1. A number of families looked to state and local public relief systems for survival. B. The Great Plains of the South and West was suffering in one of the worst droughts of all time. 1. Kansas’ soil had completely no moisture.

C. A great number of Okies from the Dust Bowl had traveled to California and other states. 1. The Okies had no land survived on either starvation wages or farm to farm picking. IV. The minorities in the Depression

A. African-Americans faced the most unemployment, homelessness, malnutrition, and diseases of all time. 1. The collapse in prices of cotton and other staple crops left them with no income. 2. Racial combats by the whites decreased employment for the African-Americans in the South. B. Half a million Mexican-Americans left the United States for Mexico in the first years of the Depression. 1. Mexican-Americans faced discrimination where they had very few accessibilities compared to an American citizen. C. Asian-Americans faced economic marginalization.

1. Educated Asian-Americans would not be acknowledged for their education.
2. Japanese American Citizens League was created to protect racial and ethnic minorities from discrimination.

V. Women’s role in the Depression

A. It was proper for a woman to work only at home, work should go to men. B. By the end of the Depression, 20% more women were working then at the beginning of the Depression. VI. The Depression produced significant traditional values and goals. A. The radio in the 1930s was common in the American family. B. The production of movies was affordable to the Americans to go out and watch. 1. Walt Disney produced animation and children’s entertainment. C. Literature and journalism in the 1930s brought voice in print. VII. Hoover’s response to the Great Depression was to gain public confidence in the economy. A. He had businessmen talk to labor leaders into increasing wages. B. Hoover constructed a program to assist the Agricultural economy. C. His popularity decreased, Democrats taking over the house and senate.

VIII. The Election of 1932 impact on society.

A. The Republic Party renominated Herbert Hoover for a second term of office.
B. Roosevelt was the runner for the Democratic Party.
1. Roosevelt won no doubt.
C. Hoover lost badly.
1. Hoover had only carried Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Roosevelt accommodated the rest of the states winning. D. Democrats won both houses of Congress.

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