The Great Depression The Great Depression Welcome to the Depression. Your hungry, dirty, cold and unemployed. You need to point the finger and you point it at Hoover. The 1920s was a time of great prosperity in the lives of most Americans and our natural human stupidity made us think it would stay that way forever. We had just come out of the WWI and business was booming, along with farming and the stock market.
The future looked good, but people failed to understand that economies cant be good forever, it has to come down sometime. All of the signs of a depression were there; the farmers were producing too much, uneven income, easy credit and huge debts; people just didnt notice them. Not until October 29, 1929 black Tuesday anyway, when the bottom of the stock market fell out, taking millions of Americans lives with it. Even though any didnt admit it, they knew what was on the way. People who had been buying stock on margin suddenly found themselves poor and in bigger debt than they could imagine. America went into a panic, pulling money out of banks in a frenzy causing many to close their doors. President Hoover tried hard to make the times better for the unemployed first by setting aside almost $800 million for public works like the now Hoover Dam.
Conditions, however, failed to improve. His other policies, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Home Loan Bank Act, also didnt make much difference. The election of 1932 made it clear that the American people were unhappy with Hoover. Franklin Delanor Roosevelt won the election on the Democratic ticket by a landslide. His promise of a new deal gave Americans hope for what he could do for them.
Two days after his inauguration he ordered a bank holiday for all the banks in the country to close. When they reopened, people felt more safe putting their money in banks with the government backing them up. FDRs New Deal became what started the nations turn around. With such programs as the CCC (employing single males from the ages of 17-28 to do community labor like road building), the FERA (used $250 million to aid the unemployed, elderly, and sick), the AAA (paid farmers to grow less), the NIRA (set up price controls), the WPA (creating as many job as possible), and others, Franklin Roosevelt became one of the most successful leader this country has ever had. Throughout his Presidency, he almost single-handedly changed the fate of America. He turned this country around so we could be a great nation again. If you were to ask someone who lived through the Great Depression, as it came to be called, what it was like, there answer would probably not be a positive one.
But even through immense tragedy, good still found a way to shine through. The Depression gave us the chance to redefine what America stood for. The government now had the power to help people in need, and in return people had more trust in the government because they knew it would support them. The position of minorities improved somewhat be cause the New Deal relief measures were almost color blind, and gave non-whites a small but significant chance. Women also made their way into the workforce during and after the Depression.
I will say this, FDR was the best thing that could have happened in this time. Being a YR I feel that desperate times call for desperate measures. America is the best country in the world. This is shown by us coming out of WWI (winning) and into a great depression. We conquered the depression and became a stable union. We learned from out mistakes and hopefully we wont have this happen again.
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