1929 The Great Depression Begins

The Great Depression was exactly how it sounds, a prolonged period of severe unemployment and struggles for people across the globe. It first began with a huge stock market crash of which Mary Klien describes in her article “The Stock Market Crash of 1929: A Review Article''; 

“Unlike most market disasters, the Great Crash was not the event of one day but a series of events stretched initially across the week from Wednesday, October 23, through Thursday, October 31. During these eight frantic sessions, a total of nearly 70.8 million shares were traded-more than had changed hands in any month prior to March 1928” (Klein). 

These events were sparked by the financial burden of the World War, but also the mass rumors that the U.S stock market was going to fail. After those rumors circulated people quickly started to lose faith in the institutions ability to keep their money safe. This one week changed the course of human history because of the drastic changes it enacted on the economy, but also how it affected the general morale. Sadness and misery were so widespread during this time that families were lucky if all of their children survived the century. Most families starved and were lucky if they even had a home. People lived in tents and couldn’t find jobs no matter where they travelled. Justice Brandeis once said, "The people of the United States are now confronted with an emergency more serious than war. Misery is widespread, in a time, not of scarcity, but of overabundance. The long-continued depression has brought unprecedented unemployment, a catastrophic fall in commodity prices and a volume of economic losses which threatens our financial institution”(Gay).  This event was more serious than war because even in times of war people have hope that it will end. After the Depression, everyone lost hope and they lost what it meant to help others. This is one time period where people did not help other people as they should have. No one believed the dark time would end, until World War II began and suddenly people had something to fight for again. 

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

1929 to 1933

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