Analyzing the Causes and Solutions of the Great Depression

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Analyzing the Causes and Solutions of
The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a disastrous time for not only Americans but for many people across the entire world. The depression was felt in a great deal of places, from both North America, South America, all the way to Europe, and even Japan. From cotton farmers, commonly known as “Okies”, to bankers in the big city, everyone felt the impact from the depression (Smiley, 2008, p.1). Although economists argue the main causes of the Great Depression, there were many different contributing factors that led to the worst financial crisis in America’s history. As the depression wore on many politicians and economists attempted to solve the problems facing Americans. It is important to remember what had caused the Great Depression as well as what brought the country back. A look into our past can possibly help to prevent future disaster facing our economy. The most commonly known factor leading to the Great Depression was the crash of the United States stock market. Although the stock market crash of 1929 is seen as the starting point of the Great depression, there were a number of causes beforehand that lead to the event that is now known as Black Thursday. The 1920’s had experienced a tremendous surge in stock prices. The Federal Reserve could not justify these prices by future earnings and in 1928 the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in order to slow rising stock prices (Pells, 2012, p.4). These higher interest rates decreased attraction to spending in areas including construction and automobile manufacturing. Another factor leading to the decrease of construction was the boom in housing construction in the early 1920’s. This boom led to an excess of housing (Pells, 2012, p.4). When prices began to decline stock investors began to lose confidence in the stock market and began to liquidate…...

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