The Great Depression

Longest-Lasting Economic Downturn

What Caused It

The stock market crash of 1929, as the beginning of the Great Depression, was caused by the Roaring 20s when the American public discovered the stock market and dove in head first. The crash wiped out many people's investments and the public was understandably shaken. When bank failures erased the savings of those who weren't even invested in the stock market, people were shattered. Although the market crash was unavoidable, the bank failures could have been prevented with better regulation.

President Roosevelt and Herbert Hoovers Actions

Roosevelt during his term in office had a "do-nothing" attitude. Hoover however wanted to help working people keep their higher wages and help businesses keep their production to selling ratio even. However many people were burned badly in the crash and could not afford to pay for products. Hoover's thoughts and ideas failed and he went and talked to congress. Congress tried to restrict the flow of foreign goods by passing the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Because foreign nations weren't willing to buy over-priced American goods any more than Americans were, Hoover decided to choke out cheap imports. The Smoot-Hawley Act started out as a way to protect agriculture, but swelled into a multi-industry tariff.