Great Depression In America Essay, Research Paper
The Great Depression of America
The Great Depression is probably one of the most concerning events in American history. It is also proof that capitalism was not a perfect type of government, as everyone believed. The American depression started in a different way than it did in Germany. The Treaty of Versailles was the main event that forced them into depression while a stock market crash was the main event which forced America. Everyone was putting their money into the stock market. People had a large margin to buy stocks with and their credit was up and up. Unfortunately, the only way to from the top, was down. In this case, very down with the stock market crash of October 24, 1929. This infamous day was to be remembered as “Black Thursday”.
Herbert Hoover has been accused of being a do-nothing president who allowed the country to continue to slide into its worst depression ever. Although Hoover actually did take some action, but that it was too little, too late. Hoover did intervene after the Stock Market crash, but the acts passed by Congress and signed by Hoover were the worst kind of intervention. As he was trying to help, he had made the problem much worse. For example, his most famous mistake was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. This act was placed in order to raise tariffs and promote deficit spending. A tariff does exactly the wrong thing, inflation. Other acts passed during Hoover’s administration had similar effects of either raising prices or keeping them artificially high when they should have been dropping. All in all, it’s not that Hoover was a “do nothing” president, it’s that he intervened in exactly the wrong way.
Ironically, FDR, the president who put in so many government programs himself, was elected as President after Hoover. He would try to change the government by taking over and changing things to his way. Although, he would try not to adopt the Menshevik, Soviet Union tactics, in doing so. His main course of action was to expand Hoover’s programs and he had a covenant with the people to do so. He thought that the only way to fix Hoover’s mistakes and go into a state of recovery was to put money into the government. And when that didn’t work put even more money into the government. And when all else fails, keep spending money because in the long run it would be worth it. FDR’s policies seemed to work at first. The economy began to expand again in 1933 and continued to do so until May of 1937. At that point, a second depression began and lasted until June of 1938.
The United States entered World War II in December of 1941, the year generally considered to be the end of the Great Depression. Because of all the over production and people not at work, it hurdled us for WWII for we had the land and materials to go to the war and we had the people also. The war abdicated the depression and sent us into the War. Although before all this happened, our depression had an effect on many other countries than our own. Italy, Spain, Great Britain, and many other countries had their own downfall in economy at these times. Even though they had different political systems like socialism, dictatorship, and others in couldn’t help stop the fact that everyone’s economy was going to fall. Everyone was in armistice until they could their economy back up and running.
The American Depression was and may always be the most concerning issue for our rising country. The downfall struck America where it hurts, it’s economy. There were other issues that occurred during these times also. The rise of alternative political systems and the inability to establish a collective security. These also effected and hurt America, but not as worse as the depression did because the economy deals with all the people and not just the government. For it’s the people who helped build and construct this rising America.