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 ...

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profit wouldn't 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 ...

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and the sky 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 ...

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"The Great Depression." Essayworld.com. July 22, 2007. Accessed August 18, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/The-Great-Depression/68376.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/22/2007 02:51:40 AM
Category: Economics
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1686
Pages: 7

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