Great Depression

A Normal Stock market, Just what he wanted. Wish denied. This Cartoon is fro 1929.
Artist: William Kemp Starrett, appeared in Life Magazine.

The Stock Market crash in New York of 1929.

The Great Depression started in October 1929 with the stock market crash in New York.
The first image shows how people wanted the stock market to go back to normal. Like shown on the picture, they wanted it as a gift just like how Santa Claus would be able to give them that. The second picture is more of a realistic form of the stock market crash. All the people in front of the Stock Market wanting to take back their money. These two pictures show how the Stock Market Crash was the very cause of the Great Depression.


The Celebrities of 1920s

The Great Depression

The United States hit the so called  “great era” in the 1920s, Americans suddenly took an interest in the stock market. Many ordinary people believed the stock market was the place to seek for wealth. For almost eight years the stock value has been raising, stocks represented opportunities and dreams. Rich stock investor like Jesse Livermore and Charles Mitchell persuaded many  middle and lower classes to buy and sell stocks. Banker, broker and speculators were celebrities of the day, they represented the wealth of the economy. It was not until 1929 until the when the crash of stock market that led the nation into a tremendous downfall.


The Great Depression: Breadline and World’s Highest Standard of Living

Morris Huberland - Bread Line. late 1930s. Gelatin silver print: 6¾ x 7¼ in.
1937 photo by Margaret Bourke-White – Breadline during Louisville Flood.

The breadlines during the Great Depression are some of the most symbolic characteristics of the Great Depression. The breadlines were unusually long and crowded, despite of the fact that the agency were providing little bread to each individuals. Although most of people on the breadline were capable laborers, the lack of employment opportunities made them unable to make any production and forced them to wait on a crowded line for most of the day-time. It was quite tragic, since many capable workers were forced to accept the little ration provided by the government. Certain city folks found it unbearable and relocated themselves to rural areas to farm, in hope of using their labor to produce actual food.

The two images above are illustrations of the long, crowded breadlines during the Great Depression. The first picture depicts the breadline on a cold day, in which many people wear wearing heavy jackets and hiding their hands in the pockets. They have no other choice other than waiting there. They could not produce food in the city (or not fast enough, since growing vegetation in the backyard cannot guarantee a stable food source),  so they had no choice but to accept their only stable source of food. On the other hand, the second picture portrays the irony of America’s economics collapse. Just several years ago, the Americans were celebrating the lavish lifestyle and liberal behaviors of the Roaring Twenties; however, by the time of the depression, Americans no longer had the money and leisure to enjoy their freedom and the world’s highest standard of living. Nothing remained but the ad board, which ironically depicted their faded prosperity during the age of wide-scale poverty.


Not Dissimilar To Our MIstakes…

I think this picture pretty much speaks for itself - an image we came a little bit too close to in the past couple of years...

I’m posting here a very famous picture from The Wall Street Journal of what looks like a stock broker or investor who lost it all the day after the crash of October 29, 1929. This picture, to me, represents a hard fall very similar to the one that many of us felt just a few short years ago with the failure and bailing out of companies like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, AIG, and countless monstrous financial institutions. I’ve als0 posted a video that may be a little bit on the lengthly side, and much of it may sound rather elementary and pretty redundant to many of you; but I think that the person who made it simplifies very clearly the true causes of The Great Depression, puts into perspective just how close we actually came after the financial meltdown of 2008 to another one, and how we actually made MANY of the same mistakes this time around:

Video: What Caused The Great Depression

-C. Salama


Will we ever learn?

This photograph (taken in 1933) depicts a shantytown in Seattle known as Hooverville. Shantytowns sprang up all over America housing thousands of unemployed families.

This is a wonderful video produced by PBS in the Cosmopolis series. It summarizes the speculation and activities of stock brokers before Black Tuesday as well as the aftereffects. PBS used great archival materials, including photographs, audio, and video from 1929.

The photograph depicts the dire consequences of American (humans in general) greed. The smoke in the background symbolizes the hell that the persons in the foreground will face. Furthermore the black & white nature of the photograph adds a feeling of lost hope, capturing this moment in America’s history perfectly. Contrarily, the video describes a major cause of the great depression and has tons of outstanding material however it fails to portray the chaos and solemn reality of the Great Depression due to it’s focus on videos and pictures of the mass, thus not allowing the viewer to sympathize with an individual. However it does get the point across, I just wonder if the federal reserve and banking institutions ever heard of this mysterious event that occurred in 1929…


Great Depression (1929-1940)

The Great Depression is worst depression in our nation’s history, not ending completely until the United State entered WWII.

During the depression, thousands of the business failed, half a million farmers lost their farms, one-quarter of the banks failed, and millions of people were out of work(picture in the left side). There was no safety net as in today’s economy – no unemployment insurance, retirement benefit, or bank deposit insurance. Private charities were overwhelmed. People went hungry; children suffered from malnutrition.(picture in the right side)


No not my lips!

After the world war, with an increase in drink.  Temperance organizations were formed to dissuade people from intoxication. to there was a period in the 1920’s where the sale manufacturing, and transportation of liquor was prohibited.  This era was call Prohibition.  From 1920-1933, alcohol was blamed for many of societies problems.  From drunk husbands, and murder.
The 18th amendment ratified this, but was repealed by the 21st amendment 13 years later during the great depression.

The Not-so-great Depression

This is a "town" of shacks in Central Park, called a Hooverville. (From http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/centralparkhooverv.jpg)

This is a “town” of shacks in Central Park, called a Hooverville. (From http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/centralparkhooverv.jpg)

During The Great Depression conditions in America were horrible. Now, I know we think we had it bad the past few years, but that does not even compare to how bad it was in the early 20th century. Most people had no work. Now, I am not strictly talking about unskilled workers, but rather many professionals did not have work as well. Everyone was looking for jobs and nobody was able to support their family. In order to even attain some food people would wait on these breadlines. The lines were hundreds, or thousands, of people lined up waiting to get a small portion of food given out for free. This is what a majority of America had to resort too. People couldn’t afford housing either. Some lived in cardboard boxes. and others lived in houses that were not much better. Shown in the picture is a village of tiny, dinky shacks that was set up in New York’s Central Park. While nearly impossible, I hope the two pictures that I posted give you an idea of the poverty present in The Great Depression.

This is a breadline where people can come and get free food. (From http://dailycapitalist.com/2009/06/24/the-great-depression-a-short-history/)

This is a breadline where people can come and get free food. (From http://dailycapitalist.com/2009/06/24/the-great-depression-a-short-history/)


Assignment due 3/14

Post a visual representation of 2 primary sources (these can be text documents, photographs, cartoons, paintings, or videos) that represent important aspects of the Great Depression.  Include captions that explain the subject of the image and source to the best of your knowledge.  Write 1 paragraph comparing the two documents and the messages they communicate about the Great Depression.