Pop Culture During the Great Depression

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Perhaps the worst economic downturn in the history of the United States occurred from 1930-1939. The Great Depression led to domestic and international crises effecting the poor and wealthy alike. Many financial experts today continue to debate the cause of The Depression, although most agree that several events led to the economic decline. The famous stock market crash on October 29, 1929 is just one of many causes economists believe led to The Great Depression. Known also as Black Tuesday, October 29th left stockholders shattered with recorded losses reaching $40 billion dollars (Kelly, n.d.). Many banks and financial institutions began collapsing which led to irretrievable, uninsured deposits and savings. Fearing further loss, people began spending less which led to a decrease in production and an increase in unemployment. As companies began to fail, the government devised the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in order to protect American businesses. The Tariff placed high taxes on imports leading to a decline in international trade. The United States held many loans with European countries that began to default. Reduction in international market spending in the US, coupled with the high tariffs placed on foreign countries led to unemployment abroad and foreign countries were forced to impose their own tariffs on other countries (Kelly, n.d.). The Great Depression was perhaps most devastating to the individual and family. The Depression was recorded to have decreased the marriage rate which helped lead to a decline in the birth rate. It is documented to be the first time in American history that the birth rate dropped below replacement level (Mintz & McNeil, 2014). An increase in illness and disease occurred from poor living conditions and lack of income. Unemployment rates skyrocketed which led to an increase in eviction rates and homelessness. Men were
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