4/3 & 4/4 Icebreaker ~ Take out your notes OPEN NOTEBOOK QUIZ ON THE CIVIL WAR
Area of Study #7 ~ The Great Depression and the Americas 1929 – 1939 • THIS WILL COVER TOPIC / QUESTIONS #13 & #14 ON YOUR EXAM • HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS UNIT ~ Answer one of the following essay questions 13. Discuss Hoover’s response to the Great Depression. 14. Analyze the impact of the Great Depression on one country of the region
The Great Depressionis one of the most misunderstood events in American history…
Some point to the Crash of the Stock Market as the cause of the Depression…Not true.
Some blame Herbert Hoover, claiming his “hands-off” economic policies dragged America into the Depression…Not accurate.
The Great Depression was a worldwide event. By 1929, the world suffered a major rise in unemployment.
In the first four years of the Depression, real economic output (Gross Domestic Product) fell by 30% from 1929 to 1933. The U.S. Stock Market lost 90% of its value.
There are several explanations, but the most obvious causes are four:1. Overproduction2. Banking & Money Policies 3. Stock Market Actions 4. Political decisions
The “roaring twenties” was an era when our country prospered tremendously. Average output per worker increased 32% in manufacturing and corporate profits rose 62%.
But in reality there existed:*Underconsumption of these goods here and abroad, because people didn’t have enough cash to buy all they wanted…* There still existed an uneven distribution of wealth and income.
Americas’ farms were overproducing, as well.During World War I, with European farms in ruin, the American farm was a prosperous business.
Increased food production during World War I was an economic “boom” for many farmers, who borrowed money to enlarge and modernize their farms.
So, to summarize it, HIGH DEMANDfor consumer goods and agricultural products led to OVERPRODUCTION.
The uneven distribution of wealth didn’t stop the poor and middle class from wantingto possess luxury items, such as cars and radios…
Although wages were not keeping up with the prices of those goods…”buying on credit” offer a solutions!
By the end of the 1920s, 60% of the cars and 80% of the radios were bought on installment credit.
The Federal Reserve Boardwas created by Congress in response to the Banking Crisis of 1907.
The Federal Reserve was suppose to serve as a protective “watchdog”of the nation’s economy. It had the power to set the interest rate for loans issued by banks.
So,to summarize, banking policies which offered “buying on credit”first with lower interest rates, then raising those rates, caused a dangerous situation in the economy.
Buying on Credit increased personal debt.Higher interest rates caused LESS DEMANDfor goods.
The Stock Market growth in the 1920s tells a story of runaway optimism for the future.
Small investors were more apt to invest inthe Stock Market in large numbers because the “margin requirement”was only 10%.
George Olsen and his Music "I'm In The Market For You”I'll have to see my brokerFind out what he can do.'Cause I'm in the market for you.With margin I'm all through.'Cause I want you outright it's true.We'll count the hugs and kisses,When dividends are due,'Cause I'm in the market for you.
As business was booming in the 1920s and stock prices kept risingwith businesses’ growing profits, buying stocks on marginfunctioned like buying a car on credit.
The extensive speculation that took place in the late 1920s kept stock prices high, but the balloon was due to burst…
The Crash: “Black Tuesday” Oct. 29, 1929, the Stock Market crashed.
Over 16 million shares sold in massive selling frenzy.Losses exceeded $26 billion.
The Stock Market Crash of 1929was only a symptom- not the cause of the Great Depression.
Buying on Marginwas a risky market practice.Bank loans for stock purchases was an unsound practice.
The Federal Reserve was also established to prevent bank closings. It was suppose to serve as the “last resort” loaner to banks on the verge of collapsing.
In early 1930, there were 60 bank failures per month.Eventually, 9,000 banks closed their doors between 1930 and 1933.
Simply put, when a bank fails, a large amount of money disappears from the economy. There was no insurance for depositors at this time, so many lost their savings.
As banks closed their doors and more people lost their savings, fear gripped depositors across the nation.
Business also lost its money and could not finance its activities…More businesses went bankrupt and closed their doors, leaving more people unemployed…
The Depression could have been less severe had policy makers not made certain mistakes…
Leaders in government and business relied on poor advice from economic & political experts...
“The sole function of the government is to bring about a condition of affairs favorable to the beneficial development of private enterprise.” Herbert Hoover (1930)
But did Hoover really believe in a “hands-off” free market philosophy?
Hoover did take action to intervene in the economy, but it was too little too late-