The Great Depression: The History Of Western America

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The Great Depression, which occurred from 1929 to 1939, was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of Western America. The Great Depression began with the Stock Market crash on October 29, 1929; which erased millions of investors, and left Wall Street in panic. Over the next several years, consumer spending decreased as well as investing. Companies could not afford to pay their workers, forcing them to lay off employees; which lead to steep declines in industrial output. By 1933, the depression hit its peak and nearly 15 million people were out of jobs, and half of the banks in America had failed. Franklin D. Roosevelt arose to create programs and measures to help Americans fight through the tough times. The Great…show more content…
Hundreds of thousands of people were out of jobs and searching for any type of work they could find. Thousands of families were evicted from their homes, moved into shanty towns that were crude dwellings that lay on the outskirts of towns. Half of the working population in Chicago was unemployed during 1932. Americans were so desperate for jobs that over 100,000 people applied for jobs in the Soviet Union. The Great Depression brought on a reverse effect of the industrial revolution. Instead of moving to cities, Americans started moving to rural areas so they could farm and produce food for their families. In 1935, a record breaking 33 million people lived on farms. Families had to reduce meals, children went barefoot, and the suicide rate had reached its highest peak in American History. America was at its lowest point ever, and many thought this was going to be the end of America, and the American…show more content…
During the Second New Deal FDR faced several challenges. Among these challenges was Senator Huey Long of Luisiana, who developed his own economic recovery program known as Share Our Wealth (Shi, 207). This program would provide each family with $5,000 to buy a house, an average income of $5,000 to $10,000 per year, and every family should make no less than $2,000-$3,000 per year. With limits for the rich, with the limit of no more than $5,000,000 per family, and no more than $1,000,000 income per year. Long could have made a powerful step towards the Democratic nomination in 1936 or even 1940; however, he was assassinated in 1935. Long’s ideas still remained popular. Another challenge for FDR was Dr. Frances Townsend, a retired physician, responded with the idea to give $200 a month to anyone over 60 who was retired or will retire. Thus, giving the elderly financial security as well as providing jobs for unemployed citizens. Roosevelt eventually answered to this program in August of 1935, when he proposed the Social Security Act, which proved to be the longest-lasting legislation of the New Deal. Roosevelt also created programs such as: National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board, Committee for Industrial Organization,

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