Explain your understanding of the American Dream. Before the 1920s.
The American Dream officially originated in the early days of the American settlement. It started of as the poor immigrants searched for opportunities. The American Dream was like a promise of success that the Americans lived to back in the 1920s. They believed that life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunities for the rich and poor, black and white, Christian or Muslim according to their achievements and abilities. It was a dream of social order in which each men and each woman was able to attain the fullest in which they are worthy of after hard work. They were to be recognised by others for what they were at that time and it shouldnt have? mattered where they were born or what position they were in. They believed that all humans were equal and that they each had unalienable rights in life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Homesteaders and immigrants would leave the big cities in search of happiness and a piece of land for their inalienable rights. The people who went through World War II had desires of buying a home, a car, having a decent family life and most valuable to them was to own their own piece of farm land to offer jobs for the unemployed. They had dreams of wishing and hoping to stay alive and tell us about their dreams.
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The American Dream helped the Americans work harder to earn more, to buy bigger cars, better places to live and more food to bring home. It was like the pursuit of material prosperity. For this they worked longer and had less time to enjoy all of the prosperity. The poor would have to work in two jobs to insure that it is enough for their families survival. Others focused more on living a simple and fulfilling life rather than gaining money.

Every man had the right to live their life, to work and to become whatever their manhood and abilities take them to, regardless of their birth and golden opportunities. ? It was in the hands of these people to bring up the wells of democracy in America as it dropped. However, the values had totally changed; instead of striving for equality people were? trying? to get? even richer. Some would sacrifice themselves to fulfil this dream and get into the upper class.

Explain your understanding of the Great Depression in the 1930s. What was it

The Great Depression began around Europe and spread its way towards America in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. It also reached other industrialized areas of the world. Being the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the Western World, the Great Depression affected many lives harshly. The major cause of the depression was due to the crash of the stock market in October 1929. Stock holders, after two months, had lost more than $40 billion dollars. Although the stock market started to regain some of? its losses, it was still not enough. America then entered whats called? the Great Depression. By the next three years stock prices the stock prices fell. By late 1932 the prices? had decreased to only about 20 percent of their value in 1929. Many banks were always being forced into bankruptcy. The stock market was the quickest way to become rich until it became the path to bankruptcy. Banks were uninsured this led to loss of peoples savings. The banks who survived were too concerned for their own survival to realise the economic situation and stopped willing to create new loans.

As the stock market crashed individuals stopped purchasing items, this led to the reduction of production of items thus reduction in the workforce. As people became unemployed, they were no longer able to afford or pay for the things they needed to purchase. A new instalment plan had been put in place which was directed to everyone as buy now, pay later. It was just a little relief? for everyone since they worked more hours to pay it off which took longer than usual. The result of unemployed people was rising and the result of output was falling. By 1932 the level of manufacturing output had fallen to 54 percent of its 1929 level, and unemployment had risen 25-30 percent of the work force.

? http://americanhistory.about.com/od/greatdepression/tp/greatdepression.htm

there was High unemployment many foreclosures, most everyone struggled to find food, the government set up soup kitchens to feed people, it was pretty depressing,? 

People lost their savings, their homes, and their jobs.
What happens when that happens They stood in food lines,? 
they starved, they lost their self respect and their futures.
They would do anything for a job, anything to feed their families.

Some families were drawn together, several generations living
together because they couldnt afford to live on their own.
Some left their families, homes, wives, children and rode the rails? 
living from day to day

alot of people had to move to california where they could get jobs… it was really hard on everyone but the rich. the stock markets went up, and up and up, so everyone invested a very good amount of their salaries in different stocks that were doing well, and suddenly, they crashed. everyone lost tons of money, and several people had to leave their homes, and didnt have enough money to even get to california in one piece…

Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the start of World War II

How did the great depression affect the American people
The Great Depression The Great Depression did not affect everyone the same way. Many rich people felt no impact at all, and were oblivious to the suffering of others. Up to forty percent of the country never faced real hardship during those years. But most were touched by it in some way. By the time of Franklin Roosevelts inauguration in 1933, the unemployment rate hovered close to twenty-five percent. Fluctuating during the 1930s, it never fell below 14.3% until 1941. The Depression changed the family in dramatic ways. Many couples delayed marriage – the divorce rate dropped sharply (it was too expensive to pay the legal fees and support two households); and birth rates dropped below the replacement level for the first time in American history. Families suffered a dramatic loss of income during Herbert Hoovers term in office, dropping 35% in those four years to $15M. This put a great deal of stress on families. Some reacted by pulling together, making due with what they had, and turning to family and friends for help. Only after exhausting all alternatives would they reluctantly look to the government for help. Other families did not fare as well, and ended up failing apart. Traditional roles within the family changed during the 1930s. Men finding themselves out of work now had to rely on their wives and children in some cases to help make ends meet. Many did not take this loss of power as the primary decision maker and breadwinner very well. Many stopped looking for work, paralyzed by their bleak chances and lack of self-respect. Some became so frustrated that they just walked out on their families completely. A 1940 survey revealed that 1.5 million married women had been abandoned by their husbands. On the other hand, women found their status enhanced by their new roles. Left with little choice, they went against the historic opposition to married women working outside the home to help support their families. Black women especially found it easier to obtain work than their husbands, working as domestic servants, clerks, textiles workers and other occupations. This employment increased their status and power in the home, gaining them a new voice in domestic decisions. |
A mother and her daughters
photographed on the road
by Dorthea Lange |
Most minorities, though, benefited little from FDRs New Deal programs. Minorities, long considered the “last hired, first fired” before the depression, were the first ones hurt by the job layoffs, In order to keep the Democratic Party together and pass New Deal legislation through a Southern-dominated Congress, most of the programs targeted unemployed white males. Black males were either shut out completely or had to settle for separate and lower pay scales. A shortage of jobs in the Southwest led to the illegal deportation of 400,000 Mexican-Americans so that whites could get more jobs or government relief. Native Americans, though, received their own New Deal, bringing economic relief and some political recognition to this most beleaguered group. References: |
Bread Line
Washington, DC, October 1930 |

Who were the greatest victims of the great depression

How long did the great depression last
The Great Depression lasted for about ten years from 1929 to 1929, however, in many countries the negatives effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II

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About the Great Depression

The Great Depression began in the United States but quickly turned into a worldwide economic slump owing to the special and intimate relationships that had been forged between the United States and European economies after World War I. The United States had emerged from the war as the major creditor and financier of postwar Europe, whose national economies had been greatly weakened by the war itself, by war debts, and, in the case of Germany and other defeated nations, by the need to pay war reparations. So once the American economy slumped and the flow of American investment credits to Europe dried up, prosperity tended to collapse there as well. The Depression hit hardest those nations that were most deeply indebted to the United States, i.e., Germany and Great Britain. In Germany, unemployment rose sharply beginning in late 1929, and by early 1932 it had reached 6 million workers, or 25 percent of the work force. Britain was less severely affected, but its industrial and export sectors remained seriously depressed until World War II. Many other countries had been affected by the slump by 1931.
Almost all nations sought to protect their domestic production by imposing tariffs, raising existing ones, and setting quotas on foreign imports. The effect of these restrictive measures was to greatly reduce the volume of international trade: by 1932 the total value of world trade had fallen by more than half as country after country took measures against the importation of foreign goods.
The Great Depression had important consequences in the political sphere. In the United States, economic distress led to the election of the Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt to the presidency in late 1932. Roosevelt introduced a number of major changes in the structure of the American economy, using increased government regulation and massive public-works projects to promote a recovery. But despite this active intervention, mass unemployment and economic stagnation continued, though on a somewhat reduced scale, with about 15 percent of the work force still unemployed in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. After that, unemployment dropped rapidly as American factories were flooded with orders from overseas for armaments and munitions. The depression ended completely soon after the United States entry into World War II in 1941. In Europe, the Great Depression strengthened extremist forces and lowered the prestige of liberal democracy. In Germany, economic distress directly contributed to Adolf Hitlers rise to power in 1933. The Nazis public-works projects and their rapid expansion of munitions production ended the Depression there by 1936.
At least in part, the Great Depression was caused by underlying weaknesses and imbalances within the U.S. economy that had been obscured by the boom psychology and speculative euphoria of the 1920s. The Depression exposed those weaknesses, as it did the inability of the nations political and financial institutions to cope with the vicious downward economic cycle that had set in by 1930. Prior to the Great Depression, governments traditionally took little or no action in times of business downturn, relying instead on impersonal market forces to achieve the necessary economic correction. But market forces alone proved unable to achieve the desired recovery in the early years of the Great Depression, and this painful discovery eventually inspired some fundamental changes in the United States economic structure. After the Great Depression, government action, whether in the form of taxation, industrial regulation, public works, social insurance, social-welfare services, or deficit spending, came to assume a principal role in ensuring economic stability in most industrial nations with market economies.

The International Depression
The Great Depression of 1929-33 was the most severe economic crisis of modern times. Millions of people lost their jobs, and many farmers and businesses were bankrupted. Industrialized nations and those supplying primary products (food and raw materials) were all affected in one way or another. In Germany the United States industrial output fell by about 50 per cent, and between 25 and 33 per cent of the industrial labour force was unemployed.
The Depression was eventually to cause a complete turn-around in economic theory and government policy. In the 1920s governments and business people largely believed, as they had since the 19th? century, that prosperity resulted from the least possible government intervention in the domestic economy, from open international relations with little trade discrimination, and from currencies that were fixed in value and readily convertible. Few people would continue to believe this in the 1930s.
The US economy had experienced rapid economic growth and financial excess in the late 1920s, and initially the economic downturn was seen as simply part of the boom-bust-boom cycle. Unexpectedly, however, output continued to fall for three and a half years, by which time half of the population was? in desperate circumstances (map1).? It also became clear that there had been serious over-production in agriculture, leading to falling prices and a rising debt among farmers. At the same time there was a major banking crisis, including the “Wall Street Crash” in October 1929. The situation was aggravated by serious policy mistakes of the Federal Reserve Board, which led to a fall in money supply and further contraction of the economy.

Map 1 |
The economic situation in Germany (map2) was made worse by the enormous debt with which the country had been burdened following the First World War. It had been forced to borrow heavily in order to pay “reparations” to the victorious European powers, as demanded by the Treat of Versailles (1919), and also to pay for industrial reconstruction. When the American economy fell into depression, US banks recalled their loans, causing the German banking system to? collapse.

Map 2 |
Countries that were dependent on the export of primary products, such as those in Latin America, were already suffering a depression in the late l920s. More efficient farming methods and technological changes meant that the supply of agricultural products was rising faster than demand, and prices were falling as a consequence. Initially, the governments of the producer countries stockpiled their products. but this depended on loans from the USA and Europe. When these were recalled, the stockpiles were released onto the market, causing prices to collapse and the income of the primary-producing countries to fall drastically (map3).

Map 3 |
The Depression spread rapidly around the world because the responses made by governments were flawed. When faced with falling export earnings they overreacted and severely increased tariffs on imports, thus further reducing trade. Moreover, since deflation was the only policy supported by economic theory at the time, the initial response of every government was to cut their spending. As a result consumer demand fell even further. Deflationary policies were critically linked to exchange rates. Under the Gold Standard, which linked currencies to the value of gold, governments were committed to maintaining fixed exchange rates. However, during the Depression they were forced to keep interest rates high to persuade banks to buy and hold their currency. Since prices were falling, interest-rate repayments rose in real terms, making it too expensive for both businesses and individuals to borrow.
The First World War had led to such political mistrust that international action to halt the Depression was impossible to achieve In 1931 banks in the United States started to withdraw funds from Europe, leading to the selling of European currencies and the collapse of many European banks. At this point governments either introduced exchange control (as in Germany) or devalued the currency (as in Britain) to stop further runs. As a consequence of this action the gold standard collapsed (map 4).

Map 4The gold standard linked currencies to the value of gold,? 
and was supported by almost every country in the world.
From 1931, however, countries began to leave the? 
standard, leading to its total collapse by 1936. Although
at the time this was seen as a disaster, it actually presented
opportunities for recovery in many countries, allowing
governments to intervene to create economic growth. |
The Depression had profound political implications. In countries such as Germany and Japan, reaction to the Depression brought about the rise to power of militarist governments who adopted the regressive foreign policies that led to the Second World War. In countries such as the United States and Britain, government intervention ultimately resulted in the creation of welfare systems and the managed economies of the period following the Second World War.
In the United States Roosevelt became President in 1933 and promised a “New Deal” under which the government would intervene to reduce unemployment by work-creation schemes such as street cleaning and the painting of post offices. Both agriculture and industry were supported by policies (which turned out to be mistaken) to restrict output and increase prices. The most durable legacy of the New Deal was the great public works projects such as the Hoover Dam and the introduction by the Tennessee Valley Authority of flood control, electric power, fertilizer, and even education to a depressed agricultural region in the south.
The New Deal was not, in the main, an early example of economic management, and it did not lead to rapid recovery. Income per capita was no higher in 1939 than in 1929, although the government??™s welfare and public works policies did benefit many of the most needy people. The big growth in the US economy was, in fact, due to rearmament.
In Germany Hitler adopted policies that were more interventionist,? developing a massive work-creation scheme that had largely eradicated unemployment by 1936. In the same year rearmament, paid for by government borrowing, started in earnest. In order to keep down inflation, consumption was restricted by rationing and trade controls. By 1939 the Germans??™ Gross National Product was 51 per cent higher than in 1929 ??” an increase due mainly to the manufacture of armaments and machinery.
The German case is an extreme example of what happened virtually everywhere in the 1930s. The international economy broke up into trading blocs determined by political allegiances and the currency in which they traded. Trade between the blocs was limited, with world trade in 1939 still below its 1929 level. Although the global economy did eventually recover from the Depression, it was at considerable cost to international economic relations and to political stability.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a worldwide economic decline in 1930s. It was the most difficult and longest period of unemployment and low business activity in modern times. The Depression began in October 1929, when the stock values dropped very quickly. Many stockholders lost large amounts of money. Banks, factories, and stores closed and left millions of Americans jobless and penniless. Most families had to depend on charity to provide food.

When the Depression began Herbert Hoover was the President and in 1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President. Roosevelts reforms gave the Government more power and helped ease the depression.

The Depression caused a very sharp decrease in world trade because each country raised taxes on imported goods trying to help their own industries. The depression caused some countries to change their type of government and their leader.

The stock market crash occurred from 1925 to 1929. During this period the price of common stocks on the New York Stock Exchange more than doubled. When stock values rose it encouraged many people to buy stocks hoping to make large profits following the future price increases.

Black Thursday was Oct 24, 1929 when the stock values dropped. The Friday and Saturday after Black Thursday stock prices remained steady. On Monday stock prices fell once again. By Tuesday, October 29, the stockholders panicked and began to sell a record of 16,410,030 shares of stock.

Millions of Americans suffered from a disease caused by malnutrition. People lost their homes because they didnt have enough money to pay their mortgage.In1932 at least 200,000 young people and 25,000 families roamed through the country looking for food, clothing, shelter, and a job.
The Great Depression had many effects on the United States. It produced new laws that gave the government far more power than at any time in the history of our nation. It changed the American societys outlook toward life.? 


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