What was the Great Depression?
The Great depression had lasted for over 11 years from 1929 to 1940. It was a severely caused by over confidence, over extended market and a dearth the stuck South. In order to end this Great Depression, US government took some unprecedented actions to control the economy. And due to this, the Great Depression ended with the increased production for World War II.
It was the one of the biggest and long lasting economic recession in the history of Western World. It was begun after stock market crash of October 1929. The industrial output and employment rate suffered a lot due to Great Depression as it went up to lowest point. About 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed at that time. But due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt efforts, his help lessen the worst effects caused due to Depression in 1930’s. The economy was kicked up in 1939-1949 after World War II.
The Stock Market Crash
October 29, 1929 was the Black Tuesday for American people, the day when stock market was crashed and there was an officially beginning of great Depression. Many people tried to sell their stocks but all failed as no one was ready to buy them. Market which had convinced people to get richer failed and took path to bankruptcy.
Banks also suffered as they had invested people’s money in stocks which closed the banks after stock market crashed. And this affected other banks as people started withdrawing their saving from banks and this withdrawing of moneys made few banks to close their banks. And those who failed to withdraw their money suffered and turned them in bankrupts.
After all this, many businesses started cutting employees wages and hours. And in turn, people started to curb their spending, avoiding to spend on luxury goods. And this made many businesses to cut back wages and firing of their workers. And some businesses couldn’t stay open for long time due to lack of workers.
The Dust Bowls
Farmers are the one who could at least feed themselves at this point. But farmers were also one of them who had suffered from this Great Depression. Unfortunately at the time of Depression farmer’s land was hit by droughts and dust storms, this made helpless. Droughts made grass to disappear and storms took all the dirt in their path and destroyed farmers.
Some small farmers were already in debt as they had purchased tractors as it cut the need of manpower on fieldand bank in turned closed their farms leaving them homeless and unemployed.
Riding the Rails
At the time of Great Depression, millions of people were unemployed and which made them to travel place to place in search of job. Few had their own cars, but most hitchhiked.
Many teenagers, older people and some entire families would travel in this manner. They would board goods trains and travel across country to find a job in one of the towns along the way.
Where there was job openings, people would find thousands of other people applying for same post. Those who weren’t lucky to get the job stayed in shantytown (Homerville) outside the city. Shantytown was made from things that are freely available like cardboard, newspapers, or even driftwood.
Roosevelt and the New Deal
When US entered the Great Depression, that time Herbert Hoover was the president. And people blamed him for the Great depression. Just as shantytowns were named as Homerville after him, newspapers were named as “Hoover blankets”, pockets of pants were named as “Hoover flags” and broken down cars were named as “Hoover wagons”.
And during the 1932 presidential election, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as the new President of United States. People had huge hopes on Roosevelt. And as soon as when Roosevelt took the position, he shut down all the banks and only let them open when they are stabilized. Then he established program as New Deal. It was known from its initials. It include helping of farmers like Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA). Others programs like Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Works Progress Administration (WPA) which helped unemployed people.
The End of Great Depression
President Roosevelt had become a hero for Americans. They truly believed him as he cared for common people and he was doing his best to end up The Great Depression. After the New Deal programs, US economy was still bad at the end of 1030’s.
The major turnaround happened after bombing of Pearl Harbor and entrance of the US in Worlds War II. When US were involved in war, both industries and people became essential to war effort. Men were trained and women kept the factories going.
The entry of US in World War II ended the Great Depression in the United States.