Facts About “The Great Depression”

Facts

  1. Started in 1929 and ended in 1939
  2. The stock market lost almost 90% of its value between 1929 and 1933.
  3. Around 11,000 banks failed during the Great Depression, leaving many with no savings.
  4. In 1929, unemployment was around 3% and in 1933, it was 25%, with 1 out of every 4 people out of work.
  5. The average family income dropped by 40% during the Great Depression.
  6. More than $1 billion in bank deposits were lost due to bank closings.
  7. The New Deal created around 100 new government offices and 40 new agencies.
  8. The worst years of the Great Depression were 1932 and 1933.
  9. Around 300,000 companies went out of business.
  10. Hundreds of thousands of families could not pay their mortgages and were evicted from their homes.
  11. Millions of people migrated away from the Dust Bowl region in the Midwest. Around 200,000 migrants moved to California.
  12. Also known as Depression Of 1929 and Slump of 1929
  13. The Great Depression started with the Wall Street 
  14. The Unemployment Rate during the Great Depression in 1933 was 25%. Over 12 million people were unemployed with over 12,000 people being made unemployed every single day at the height of the Great Depression.
  15. The Great Depression was caused by many factors and a false sense of prosperity in America and the 1929 Stock Market Crash, Bank failures, lack of credit, unemployment, reduction in purchasing, loss of exports, drought conditions and the Dust Bowl. For comprehensive facts and information refer to the Causes and effects of the Great Depression.
  16. Ordinary, Middle-Class Americans had invested in the Stock Market. By 1929 nearly 4 million Americans had invested in the stock market. Buying on Margin” meaning that they were buying shares with loans.
  17. The levels of debt affected the ability of many Americans to survive the effects of the Great Depression. The number of suicides jumped to an alarming 18 and 9 per 100,000 in 1929, the year of the Wall Street crash.
  18. There was an uneven distribution of income in America. Lower class, poor Americans were in the majority (60%) and these people were suffering even before the Great Depression and had limited spendable income.
  19. Those Americans who had money and remained “thrifty and prudent” also suffered. They had placed their money in banks for safekeeping. Many were small banks who had also recklessly invested in the stock market and lent money to stock market investors.
  20. The federal government did not insure bank deposits. If a bank collapsed its customers lost all their savings. During 1929-1931 over 3000 banks went bankrupt and over 10% of the nation’s total and more followed as the Great Depression deepened.
  21. People were desperate to get their money out of ailing banks and led to a series of banking panics called Bank Runs. There were numerous Bank Runs in the same period and led to a financial crisis and a chain of bankruptcies.
  22. Several men and young boys became hobos during the Great Depression. Numerous absented themselves from their families in search of jobs anywhere in the country. Many unemployed men felt they were a burden of consuming scant food rations. The easiest way to travel around the country was by train and hobos would ride on open boxcars or in freight trains to each new destination. Shantytowns, called ‘Hobo Jungles’ sprang up by railroad stations.
  23.  Farmers had experienced a difficult time in the 1920s and it got worse in the 1930s. In 1932 a devastating drought hit the farmers in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. With no rainfall, the soil turned to dust. Violent winds whipped the dry soil creating terrifying dust storms. The dust got everywhere, crops were ruined and livestock was killed. Farmers lost their lands and homes to the foreclosures by the banks. The dust bowl and the dust storms destroyed 100 million acres of land. Over 3 million impoverished people became homeless and many had no alternative but to head West to California away from the devastation.

Causes

  1. Decision-making by the U.S. Federal Reserve, thus caused declines in the money supply
  2. A monumental decline in spending that generated a decline in production
  3. Banking panics and bank failures in the U.S. and elsewhere in 1930–33
  4. Excessive stock-market speculation in the U.S. because of that it resulted in the Great Crash of 1929
  5. Maintenance of the international gold standard
  6. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act and other protectionist trade policies

Outcomes

  1. Development of Keynesian economics.
  2. End of the international gold standard by the late 1930s.
  3. Expanded influence of labour unions and organised labour through legislation such as the Wagner Act in the U.S.
  4. Implementation of the New Deal in the U.S. and welfare-state policies internationally.
  5. Increased government oversight of financial markets by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other new regulatory agencies.
  6. A precipitous decline in standards of living around the northern hemisphere, and the southern hemisphere.

This document is created as a part of Girraween Public School’s Centenary celebration project by Nirja Shah, Trushil Shah & Sarrun Sabashe of class 5Y. We are really thankful to our class teacher Miss. Yu Yan Tran for her continuous support & guidance during our project.

Author: Trushil Shah

My name is Trushil Shah and I am 13 years old. I live in Australia, a multicultural country. I have a little sister. Here are many things I like to do, to see, and to experience. I like to play sports, study, do technology experiencing, go out into the world, read, write, see the lunar eclipses by a glimpse, share time with my family, code in scratch and most of all have fun. I like flowers in spring, rain in summer, leaves in autumn, and snow in winter. I want to be a doctor or engineer when I grow up. I like many different types of food. My favourite subject of all is Maths. I am always trying to do my best. Whatever I do I want to do best.

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