Assignment due 3/16

A reminder that class will be held Wednesday, March 16.

The following assignment is due by class time on Wednesday:

Reading: Foner, Chapter 21.

Written: Write 2-3 comments in response to this post.  Each comment should be at least 2-3 sentences long.  At least one comment should discuss the cause of the Great Depression.  At least one additional comment should discuss the experiences of those living in America during the Great Depression.  I encourage you to build off of the comments already left by your classmates.  You can agree, disagree, or clarify their points.  Every comment should include at least one specific example (of a specific person, place, or event) from the reading that has not yet been mentioned in the conversation.

45 thoughts on “Assignment due 3/16

  1. The stock market crash of October 1929 marked the beginning of the Great Depression in the United States that quickly turned into a worldwide economic slump. Millions of people were losing their jobs, their homes and their families; ending up on the streets sleeping anywhere they can find. Little towns consisting of shacks built out of scrap materials were soon formed and known as shantytowns.

  2. With the stock market crash and the fears of further economic downfalls, individuals from all classes stopped purchasing items. This then led to a reduction in the number of items produced and thus a reduction in the workforce. As people lost their jobs, they were unable to keep up with paying for items they had bought through installment plans and their items were repossessed. More and more inventory began to accumulate. The unemployment rate rose above 25% which meant, of course, even less spending to help alleviate the economic situation.

  3. Although the initial result of stock market crash only affected the United States, countries all over the world began to be affected as well. This is because international trades is important to maintain a balanced global economy. Once United States trades declined, it slowly but surely began a domino effect and cause other countries to be pulled into the Great Depression.

  4. First off the Great Depression can be attributed to many causes including the stock market crash of 1929, bank failures, reduction in purchasing, and global trade. Most of these causes were mentioned already, but i’ll review it very quickly. In the stock market crash many people lost their money. Within 2 months of the crash people lost over $40 billion! Due to the crash many banks failed. Now, since the accounts were uninsured many people lost all their savings. This, along with the unwillingness for banks to give out loans, was crippling to the economy. Like Dominique said, people weren’t spending and that set off a negative chain of events. Lastly, like Nelson said, the world was interconnected, and America was left with much less trade than before.

  5. A popular name for the shantytowns that Wendy mentioned back in early 1930s was Hooverville. These towns were named after President Herbert Hoover to assign blame on the president for letting the nation slip into such a server depression. A majority of the residents of Hooverville were unemployed, had no money and relied on soup kitchens to survive. As the quality of life began to decline during the great depression, more and more people began to associate President Hoover’s name in poor living conditions. Some examples consist of the Hoover Blanket (a newspaper blanket), Hoover Flag (turned out pockets that signaled begin broke), Hoover Wagon (an automobile pulled by a horse) and Hoover Leather (repairing shoes with cardboard instead of leather).

  6. The stock market crash was the main cause of the Great Depression. However, signs of economic trouble had become evident before 1929.Southern California and Florida experienced frenzied real-estate speculation, and then speculator busts, with banks failing, land remaining undeveloped, and mortgages foreclosed. In addition to all that was said above, American purchasing power reduced because of the highly unequal distribution of income. Also, European demand for American goods declined because industry there had recovered from wartime destruction.

  7. The Great Depression affected all Americans. As was said above, many were unemployed. When Soviet Union advertised its need for skilled workers, it received over 100000 applications from the US. Hungry Americans formed brad lines in the major cities. In Detroit, 4000 children stood in bread line each day waiting for food. Many people moved from cities to farms to try to grow food for their families. During the Great Depression, the American suicide rate rose to the highest level in the nation’s history, and the birth rate fell to the lowest.

  8. The Great Depression has affected many Americans like what everyone has said. Other than the stock market crash that caused the Great Depression, the bank failures, the reduction in purchasing across the board, the Economic policy with Europe and the Drought Conditions also became a cause of the Great Depression. The recovery of the Great Depression took almost a decade in the United States and has effected on the worldwide economy.

  9. Although the stock market crash of 1929 contributed to the start of the Great Depression, it was not the sole cause of it. Prior to Black Thursday, the country was already in a state of chaos. At the time, income was unevenly distributed, widening the gap between the rich and poor. Therefore, while some were able to afford American luxuries, others were barely making ends meet. This eventually led to the decline of consumer goods. During the depression, life was even harder for the poor. People were unemployed, hungry, and had no where to stay, forcing them to move into Hoovervilles. Many people left the city to go to farms, so they can sustain life by growing their own food.

  10. After I did some research on the Great Depression,I found the World Ward I was an indirect cause of the Great Depression.During the WWI,the American banks loaned a huge number of money to the European countries,later when American banks began failing,they needed to get their money back,however,the European countries had still not fully recovered from WWI,which caused the failure of the American banks and later became one of the causes of the Great Depression.

  11. The Drought was a cause of the Great Depression. During the drought of 1930, it made life very difficult for Americans. Over farmed and overgrazed land became empty that got blown away by the wind. Dust started to move from state to state causing the sky to darken for days. The dust came like snow covering building and farms forcing many people to move out of their homes. Soon the United States became a huge dust bowl.

  12. During the great depression, everyone had to help out, even kids. Many children left schools to help support their families by working for jobs paying meager wages. At the height of the great depression, 2.25 million children between the ages of 10-18 worked in factories, mines or farms.
    I’ve read a real story during research, a gentleman who is 84 years old now, was growing up during the end of the depression. He remembered an instance when he was just sitting outside and watched a family dig through trash cans and eat whatever they could find, he said he was too young too understand what was going on but it truly scared him.

  13. Just as was the cause with our current Recession, ego’s, politics, and politician’s plain economic stupidity led and will continue to lead us down a financial roller coaster. President Hoover was a man who flip-flopped on his opinion. He believed that public interest was more important than selfish desires. However, and more importantly, he condemned government regulation in regards to the financial industry. With this brilliant idea of deregulation and foolish bravado, banks began to fail, prior to the stock market crash. Speculation and financiers greed, supported by their puppeteering of politicians, helped bring about a suffering of people that was historic… Or until our brilliant investment bankers and government officials decided to reenact history.

  14. There are many factors that contributed to the Great Depression, one popular belief is that the Great Depression resulted from the stock market crash of 1929. As several classmates said, the stock market crash caused a dramatic decline in stock prices affecting many people. This eventually led to bank failures during the 1930s.
    During the Great Depression many people suffered both physically and mentally. Many people were homeless, unemployed, and people struggled to find enough food to feed themselves and their family.

  15. As many classmates mentioned, the stock market crash of 1929 was devastating to the economy, and appears to be a main cause of the Great Depression. While Foner mentions that there may be other factors such as the real-estate situation in Southern California and Florida and the many other signs that the economy was in shambles, the stock-market crash was what cause thousands of businesses to fail the following year.

  16. The Great Depression affected home life tremendously for obvious reasons. Many people were unemployed and thousands of people would line up on the streets waiting for food. As one mentioned earlier, shanty towns began to pop up everywhere (these towns were also referred to as Hoovervilles) which is where people were forced to move after being evicted from their homes. People moved not only to Hoovervilles, but there was a migration from urban to rural living. Many wanted to own their own farms so that they could grow food for their families.

  17. During the great depression, the problem of the farmers were very similar to those they had faced in the Populist Era of the 1880’s and 1890’s- overproduction of basic crops. Advances in technology, especially the introduction of the tractor and the spread of electricity, brought about this overproduction. As a result, crop prices dropped sharply and large numbers of farmers went bankrupt. A lot of people lost their job, house, during the great depression. So they are sleeping on the street. Also they don’t have enough food to eat.

  18. After reading Meng’s post, I agree that World War I was a leading cause into the Great Depression. As we can tell from personal experience of the recent recession, banks play a huge role in our economy. Once our banking system fails, our economy is directly impacted. In addition, less labor was needed after the war was over which left many people in an unemployed.

  19. One of the major reasons that led to Great Depression was the banking failure. The banks were unable to insure the money that depositors put into saving which led to many people to save money in their hands rather than to the bank. People also spend less on purchasing which also caused reduction in producing goods and services. These factors can all contribute to the cause of the Great Depression.

  20. Great Depression caused people to be jobless. Companies don’t have enough budget to pay their workers. A lot of people were homeless because their money in the bank saving were all gone and they were not able to pay their mortgages and bills. Most people live in hunger and poverty as the immediate result of the Great Depression.

  21. The Great Depression led to some eye opening statistics of those suffering. By 1930, over 13 million people were unemployed, and over 2 million children were employed. Thousands of children would wait in line for bread, and even more people lived in shanty towns that were thrown up in haste as homelessness rocked the cities. As many mentioned, we even saw a reversal in urbanization.

  22. There were many causes for the Great Depression; from the stock market crash of 1929, to failing banks and ridiculous credit plans that people could not afford to repay. When the Stock market began to tank, people made a run on the banks to withdraw their saved money. Since banks only held a limited amount of tangible cash they were not able to return money to everybody, thus forcing them into bankruptcy. This caused a panic and people never spent money they had, thus stagnating the economy and destroying the sphere and cycle of trade. While people were scrimping their pennies, major retailers and manufactures were not able to sell products, therefore they had to fire workers because they weren’t making enough profit to pay their salaries. This raised the unemployment rate and caused people to spend even less. It was a vicious cycle that crippled our nation.

  23. As Fillip mentioned, children stood in lines that were thousands deep for a piece of bread. This was an attempt by the government to provide relief to its struggling citizens. Starvation was an all to real possibility, which showed the world that a superpower could be brought to its knees when in financial turmoil, luckily the US managed to recover and eventually prosper due to its leadership. However, the President during the time, Herbert Hoover, was despised in the 30’s because people viewed his response to the Depression as extremely inadequate.

  24. There are so many theories to the cause of the great depression, as with many other economic problems. From The “Black Tuesday Market Crash, which was inevitable. Yet, prior to that even there was problems with the real-estate market, similar to the problems that we are currently having with our current market. The banks were failing, The automobile industry slowed dow, and foreign demand of American goods, slowed down as well as other things. Reading this chapter i came to realize that it’s our current recession isn’t as bad as the great depressions, but the signs are similar, the banks, the housing market, and automobile industry. These all seem to play a large part in our economy now as it did in the past.

    I wrote previously about the migrate woman. While doing some research, i learn that her family moved around to survive. They were call pea pickers, a derogatory term for people who are destitute and extremely poor.

  25. To elaborate more on Ntoth’s message about the ridiculous credit plans, a majority of people spent money they didn’t have in the 1920s. Those who did not have enough money to purchase a radio could still buy the radio if they chose to pay through installment plans or ‘credit’. During the 1920s there was a vast amount of spending and retailers’ sale sky rocketed. Profits doubled or even tripled as more and more people used credit to purchase the latest goods. Soon people applied this same concept in the stock market which helped lead to the stock market crash.

  26. As Helen have mentioned one of the major causes of the Great Depression was the droughts and dust storms. Not only did it heavily effect farmers, it was even more difficult for smaller farms. Many of them persuited farming because of the invention of the tractor which diminish the need for labor force. They started in debt only paying it back through the rotations of their crops, so when their crops were damaged by the heavy dust storms, many of them were no longer able to pay back their debt. Banks would foreclose their farms, and these small farmers and their families would end up both homeless and unemployed.

  27. Definitely the stock market crash of 1929 was one of the major cause that occasioned to the Great Depression. On October 29, the market lost more than $14 million in value and the stockholders had lost more than $40 million dollars two months after October 29. Consequently, when most of the people were losing money, the economy would be greatly affected.
    During the Great Depression most people were losing their jobs, causing them had no ability to feed themselves or their families. Also if they did not have enough to feed themselves, they would note able to pay for their mortgagee. As a result, most of them being homeless.

  28. The stock market crash was most certainly a significant cause of the Great Depression. Many people lost millions of dollars as the market plummeted. With this crash came the loss of many jobs for American people. This effect in fact led to a trickle down affect to many other problems that came about in the United States.

  29. Yes,U.S had the highest unemployment rate in history during the great depression because of the stock market crash leaded many company downsized and closed down their businesses.As a result, many people lost their job.

    The two pictures show that the great depression had spreaded out the whole country. During the depression, people had a lot of difficulties; they even could not enjoy Christmas.All of these were due to Hoover policies that he did not want to give welfare program to citizens because he believed that dole would only reduce motivation of working.

  30. As mentioned before, the Great Depression caused many people to suffer. The droughts that occurred during this time cause farmers to go out of business and famine nationwide among the people. Young children also fell victim due to their parents loss of jobs. They voiced their opinions by holding up signs that pleaded to whomever would listen about why their parents were unable to receive a job to take care of them.

  31. In reading yanqing’s post, banking failure was significant in the affects of the Great Depression. In the event that people had to hold on to their money by putting it “under the mattress”, the economy is greatly affected because it messes up the flow of money. The less people put out in the economy the harsher the effects. Businesses ultimately go down because people are holding on to their savings.this is especially true with banks because they have no customers keeping them in business.

  32. The stock market crash in 1929 was one of the main reason for the occurrence of the Great Depression; however, there were also many reasons for why people were debt-ridden, such as the misuse and overuse of the stall payment system. The method of splitting a lump sum payment into many little payments became popular during the Roaring Twenties. People loved the fact that they could use the product even before they have fully paid for it. People became more debt-ridden as they buy more products with this system, and as they lost their jobs after the stock market crash, they were even more financially-ill because of the accumulated debts.

  33. It seems like most people agree that the stock market crash of 1929 was significant in starting the Great Depression, however, this may not have been the only factor leading up to this significant time in American history. In fact,I think foreign affairs and relations the United States had with European nations in the 90’s plays a huge role in exaggerating the situation even more. In specific, economic (trading) relations with European nations were not exactly at peace. As American businesses were slowly failing high tariffs on imports discouraged goods from being traded in order to save American businesses and thus led to the weakening of oversea relations.

  34. The Great Depress has hit America hard. There were some states with an unemployment rate of over 60%. The average citizens were unemployed and had no way to obtain food, so many of them relied on governmental assistance by waiting on the bread lines. Although the bread line could only give them a little bread, the average citizens still waited a whole day on a crowded line just to fill their stomachs for the day.

  35. I agree with the comments made by most of the class. The Great Depression did not have just one specific event that triggered the depression but a composite of problems. The stock market crash of 1929 was surely one of the major cause of the depression. The values of stocks plummeted and the banks nationwide failed leaving most American’s who lost their saving’s in the bank penniless. The great dust bowl in the midwest also added on to the economic probelm’s by cause agricultural damages to America.

  36. The experiences of the victims of the Great Depression was far from glamerous. Many Americans had lost their job’s and homes at this time as well as their savings that they kept in the banks. This left them without any source of income for basic necessities such as food. In order to live many Americans moved into parks and built shacks out of scrap material and whatever else they can find. To solve their food problems, many Americans who could not afford food would have to stand in long lines for most of the day in front of a soup kitchen just to obtain their daily ration.

  37. By 1929, statistically describing the disproportion in wealth is that only 0.1% of affluent Americans held almost 35% of all the savings in the country. The other part, almost 80% of Americans, were living paycheck to paycheck with utterly no savings at all. With the Great Depression afoot, this sent the nation spiraling into a whirlwind of economic disaster. A mere 3 years after this the United States GDP plummeted from 103.b billion to 58.7 billion.

  38. Everyone can agree that this time in US history was a horrible dark period to be around. Crime was on the rise when desperate people did desperate things to just stay alive. Survivors have always been known to portray life as a daily struggle just to stay warm or eat even once. It’s not call The Great Depression for nothing.

  39. The stock market crash of 1929 was clearly the major cause of the great depression, banks were all going corrupt and people kept losing their jobs. It caused people of all ages to endure in poverty. It was really a disaster as well as a depression as all of the businessmen that were working on wall st. It was right after the baby boom and many children were left homeless in the street.

  40. During the Great Depression,about two million Americans were homeless, ¼ of the workforce were unemployed and failure of the banking system led America into chaos. This gloomy time period surely marked an important turning pointing of the U.S. history.

  41. I agree with most of my classmates comments. I believe that the Stock Market crash of 1929 was what started the downhill of the US economy and lead to the Great Depression. The stock market was bloated and padded, the Great Depression was inevitable and I believe that the investment companies and the people in charge of the US treasury should have seen it coming. The main cause for everything was greed and improper analysis of the long term impact that so much easy credit was being given out. Its a shame that was a mistake repeated once again in our recent economic recession.

  42. The great Depression started because of a lack of consumer discretion. This lack of discretion fueled the various bubbles that burst and led to the stock market crash and the run on banks. The dust bowl in the bread basket didn’t help either.

  43. Life in the great depression was bleak. There were a lot of people depending on the government for their next meal as unemployment was at an all-time high

  44. I find it very interesting to see so many people citing the Stock Market crash as the main cause of The Great Depression, especially considering that in chapter 20, Foner clearly mentions (on page 750) that “The stock marlet crash did not, by itself, cause the depression.” He continues in that same paragraph to discuss that even well before 1929 there were many significant and indisputable signs of economic instability – mainly (but certainly not limited to):

    1. The heavy speculation of real estate valuation in Florida and Southern California, which led to widespread bank failures, mortgage defaults, and foreclosures (extremely similar to the recent 2008 meltdown)

    2. As previously mentioned by a few of you, a significantly reduced purchasing power in the rural and farming regions of the nation (stemming from droughts as well as the recovering european industry)

    3. The bursting of the “Automotive Bubble”, which is spoken about in a previous post of mine.

  45. One of the facts that I found most interesting in chapter 20 regarding how badly the American people were hurting was that, “Four-fifths of the Rockefeller family fortune disappeared.” and that, “One of the founders of General Motors Lost all of his money and ended up running a bowling alley on Flint, Michigan.”

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