Great Depression

By: Bria Patel, Tiffany Hill, Christina Rapert

Before the Depression

Before the Great Depression, life in the U.S. was not all that great, as people imagined it would be. Living conditions were filthy for the population. In the roaring twenties, some accommodations did not spread to the majority living in the big cities; they surely did not reach the rural areas, either. The power of business was handed down to a few favored businessmen that caused the depression, perhaps.

A number of strikes, by the industrial workers, showed the dissatisfaction that they faced. Farmer employment dropped because of the falling agricultural prices. It was crystal clear from the working class that every thing was not well socially in America.

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The Great Depression

On October 29, 1929, the stock markets crashed, which caused several banks to be out of money, since banks invested in the stock market. And once people heard about the stock market crash, they wanted to withdraw their savings at banks, and sell their stocks. Unfortunately no one was buying stock, and few banks were withdrawing money at the time, and the ones that did soon found themselves to be bankrupt. With the banks out of money to loan, housing soon went down, as did other urban industries.

Although the stock market did effect farmers in rural areas, it did not, at first, hit as hard as it had for the urbanites. Farmers could make their own food, clothing, and did not spend money on frivolous items that their urban counterparts had done before. But the farmers felt the Depression when they could not sell their products for what they had sold them before, or even at all.

After the Depression

After the stock market crash in 1929, most urban citizens were forced out of work and found themselves in extreme poverty. Some were forced to sell off their possessions and take any job they could get. Popular jobs in this period included low paying jobs that required little or no skill. Banks were completely bankrupt, which also caused the housing market in the urban areas to plummet to the lowest it had ever been.

Although they were particularly unaffected at the beginning of the Great Depression, farmers in rural areas soon found themselves to be in deep trouble. In the early 1930's, the Dust Bowl had begun in the central part of the United States. Farmers soon found themselves out of food for their families or to sell. By 1932, everyone in America was feeling the effects of the Depression era.

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What was the difference in stock prices from 1920-1929?

As more people invested, stock prices rose. The stock market changed the way the investors changed the way people invested long-term. The stock market made people think they could become rich. Interest in the stock market reached a ultimate high.
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How do you account for the dramatic change in stock prices from 1929-1932?

When consumers spent money, it led to millions of Americans investing in stocks with people borrowing money to buy more. The rising prices encouraged people to invest more and more.

Few people actually took the time out to study the fundamentals they invested in. Most thought a crash would never happen!

In 1929, many banks failed and fewer homes were built. Over the next few weeks, prices dropped significantly.

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Given the data on the graphs, during what year would you say the Depression was the most severe? Why?

The Great Depression was most severe in the year of 1932. The average price was only 7.4, possibly the lowest that the country might have seen yet. As people started to sell their stocks back, prices continued to fluctuate.