What Caused the Great Depression

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What Caused the Great Depression? Many believe that the stock market crash that occurred on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 is one and the same with the Great Depression. Actually, the stock market crash was only one of the major causes that led to the Great Depression. Two months after the original crash in October, stockholders had lost more than $40 billion dollars (Doc D). Even though the stock market began to regain some of its losses, by the end of 1930, it just was not enough and American truly entered what is called the Great Depression. Before Black Tuesday, the economy had been stagnant for months prior, and the effects of the market crash were compounded due to the use of margin, and the general lack of market regulations at that time. The use of margin means people had borrowed funds (Doc K). This led to a spiral of falling prices. With significantly reduced wealth, spending decline, banks failed and on top of this drought conditions contributed to a lack of good crops. The Great Depression was the result of an unlucky combination of factors, but mainly the use of margin is to blame (Doc . Worldwide, there was increased unemployment, decreased government revenue, and a drop in international trade. At the height of the Great Depression in 1933, more than a quarter of the US labor force was unemployed. Some countries saw a change in leadership as a result of the economic turmoil. It was not until World War II that the US was able to get out of depression and back to a time of prosperity. The war provided some jobs to push the US citizens back into full employment, but unemployment rates stayed up, partly because of the New Deal. This was a program started by President Hoover and carried on by President Roosevelt. The New Deal “brought in bank- deposit insurance. It piled taxes on business and sought to prevent ‘excessive competition.’

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