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A Detailed Description Of The Great Depression And Its Impacts (Essay Sample)



Student’s Name Professor Course Date The Great Depression The Great Depression was the longest and the deepest economic downturn, lasting for ten years between 1929 and 1939 (Bernstein & Michael 45). The depression started slowly during the First World War in a period that was characterized by uncertainty and hardship. Starting in the United States, the economic downturn spread all over the world causing unemployment and devastating deflation. The First World War left many nations in debts as they struggled to rebuild their economies that had experienced a great damage. More specifically, the great depression was sparked by the crash witnessed in the stock market in 1929 in the US. The specific day, 29th October came to be known as the Black Tuesday (Doak 54). The impacts of this depression are still etched in the Americans’ minds, being the most affected nation in the world. The Great Depression had a number of impacts not only in the US but also in other countries. The prices and the real output fell drastically. The real gross domestic product and the industrial production was on a decline between the peak and the trough stage. The price index was also affected resulting in a deflation with the rate of unemployment reported to be exceeding its highest point by 20% (Margo 333). Other countries in the world felt the impacts of the Great Depression although at a different magnitude. The United Kingdom witnessed a slow economic growth and a recession in the late 1920s (Margo 340). However, the nation did not experience a depression despite the low industrial production during the peak and the trough, something attributed to the sound economic policies to deal with any eventualities. In all the countries that experienced the effects of the Great Depression, unemployment triggered various social problems like crime. In the US for example, the rate of crime was on a rapid rise as a result of the unemployment people trying to make ends meet. The rates of suicide because of the loss of hope in life were on a steady rise. Malnutrition and prostitution were also on the rise. Desperate women sought all the available means to pay their bills at a time when the chances of being employed were bordering impossibility. It was unfortunate for the able and talented students who could not afford to pay for the tertiary institutions of learning, thus, their dreams were either delayed or completely shuttered. Just like the UK, France experienced a relatively shorter downturn during the late 1920s and Early 1930s (Dobbin 23-24). The country, later on, recovered having witnessed a fall in the production levels and the fall of the fall of goods prices. Germany also felt the impacts of the depression, having slipped in the downturn in 1928 but stabilized a year later. When considering the decline in industrial production, Germany witnessed almost the same effects as the US. In the then developing and developing nations of the world, the effects of the depression were more severe while middle-income countries like Argentina and Brazil experienced mild economic effects (Dobbin 50-56). In some developed nations in Asia like Japan, the mild depression effects were short-lived, starting late and ending a few months after a decline in production. The Great Depression had a number of historical importance to the countries that witnessed the effects particularly the United States. The administration put up measures in place to prevent a similar occurrence in the future through enacting effective policies to better the nation’s economic system. The American government also expanded its intervention and the direct involvement into the economic and social affairs. For example, the government ensured that there was an intensified campaign at the national level for various agencies to give social assistance. The Central Bank also learned important lessons on the unnecessary forms of monetary tightening. The bank has been slashing the interest rates and using the principle of quantitative easing in order to avoid depression. Researches done on the subje...
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