The Great Depression

Though most Americans are aware of of 1929, which may well
be "the most serious problem facing our free enterprise economic system,"(
) few know of the many Americans who lost their homes, life savings and
jobs. This paper briefly states the causes of the depression and summarizes the
vast problems Americans faced during the eleven years of its span. This paper
primarily focuses on what life was like for farmers during the time of the
Depression, as portrayed in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and tells what
the government did to end the Depression.

In the 1920's, after World War 1, danger signals were apparent that a great
Depression was coming. A major cause of the ...

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allow the farmers to purchase new machinery and because of this they
couldn't produce goods quick enough (Drewry and O'connor 559).

A new plan was created called the installment plan. This plan was established
because many Americans didn't have enough money to buy goods and services that
were needed or wanted. The installment plan stated that people could buy
products on credit and make monthly payments. The one major problem with this
idea was that people soon found out that they couldn't afford to make the
monthly payment(Drewry and O'connor 559).

In 1929 the stock market crashed. Many Americans purchased stocks because they
were certain of the economy. People started selling their stocks at a fast
pace; over sixteen million stocks were sold! Numerous stock prices dropped to
fraction of their value. Banks lost money from the stock market and from
Americans who couldn't pay back loans. Many factories lost money and went out
of business because of this great tragedy ...

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more pale; and every day the earth paled. (qtd. Steinbeck 2-3).
The farmers worst fears were realized when their corn and other crops began to
die. The dust became so bad they had to cover their mouths with handkerchiefs
so they could breath (Steinbeck 3- When the drought hit the Great Plains and
the soil turned to dust, many farmers moved to California because they could no
longer farm their land(Drewry and O'Connor 561). The drought began to affect
other parts of the country. In 1930, Virginia's belt of fertile land dried up.
Ponds, streams, and springs all dried up and the great Mississippi River water
level sank lower than ever recorded. Small farmers every-where began to ...

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The Great Depression. (2005, June 28). Retrieved June 17, 2019, from
"The Great Depression.", 28 Jun. 2005. Web. 17 Jun. 2019. <>
"The Great Depression." June 28, 2005. Accessed June 17, 2019.
"The Great Depression." June 28, 2005. Accessed June 17, 2019.
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Added: 6/28/2005 02:48:29 AM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1685
Pages: 7

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