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The Great Depression: A Brief Retrospective Essay

One of the worst economic declines of the 20th century was the Great Depression. During this time period many families and citizens found it extremely hard to find jobs and make a income. This caused widespread, global panic that was felt in every country and continent in the world. The unemployment rate skyrocketed and so did the crime rate, as many people turned to criminal activities to provide for their families. During this time trade between countries became stifled and many industry jobs slowed down. The Great Depression itself latest over a decade between 1930 to 1940, when the second World War began.

Beginnings of a Depression: Where it All Started

Many economists trace the start of the Great Depression back to the 1929 stock market crash in the United States. This impacted the United States in a major way causing many laborer’s to find themselves jobless. There was a dramatic drop in trade, income and taxation that was felt by every country in the world. In the United States the unemployment rate reached 25%. Put in perspective this means that 1 in 4 people during the 1930’s had no form of income. These scary statistics were overshadowed by other countries unemployment rates of over 33%. The swift drop in demand as well as supply caused many industry based cities of the U.S. to lose out on money and the work became very slow.

Many economists and historians believe their are two major theories that accurately describe the reason behind the Great Depression. The first theory is the demand drive theories and the second is the Monetarist theories. The Demand Drive theory generally states that products and services were being over invested in, even though they were not selling as much. In other words companies and corporations were investing too much faith in products that were not being sold in stores, causing them spend more than they were making. Many consumers began to hold onto their money as much as possible causing many companies to go out of business or into debt.

The Monetarist believe that the recession was a small problem that was made bigger because of bad mistakes and poor decisions on the parts of certain financial powers and institutions. Some economists believe that the Federal Reserve had a huge part to play in the lack of money being distributed that turned a “bite into a bullet wound”. Debt deflation causes those who owe money to stay indebted to their creditors and owe increasingly more. This failure in certain financial superpowers of the world caused a overall decline in the world population as well as a fall in the standard of living in the world.

Whatever the cause of the Great Depression was the affects of it were felt worldwide and left many families broken. Some of the stock market employees began to jump from tall buildings in desperate attempts to end the misery and depression that surrounded by their family and them.