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The Great Depression: Its Effect on Society

  • Date Submitted: 04/19/2010 12:10 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59 
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What is a depression? It's an economic slump, a time of hardship. One such economic slump happened in the United States, and it was quite hard on the people. It was called the 'Great Depression' and it lasted about twenty years, from 1920 to 1940. This event, the Great Depression, changed the United States' society and culture by the spread of poverty, increased discrimination, and how people banded together within their communities to help one another.

There are a few things that caused the Great Depression. A few of them are the stock market crash, an uneven distribution of wealth, and the Hawley-Smoot Tarriff Act of 1930. By early 1928, there were warning bells began to sound in the economy, but people were holding onto the “greater fool theory”. The theory means that if one person foolishly pays too much for a stock, he could always sell it to a bigger fool for a bigger price. As for the uneven distribution of wealth, it meant that the rich were getting richer, while the poorer were getting poorer due to the favoritism. The Hawley-Smoot Tarriff Act of 1930 was a grave mistake that the Congress passed. The act made the import tax the highest in history, and the European countries retaliated by raising their own tariffs.

There were also quite a few things that went on during the Great Depression such as Prohibition, the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and the Immigration Act of 1924. The Prohibition was the policy that had forbidden the manufacturing, sales, and transportation of alcoholic drinks. From this event, speakeasies opened; in these places, they sold and consumed alcohol illegally. The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a good even that happened during the Great Depression, as this amendment allowed women to vote. The Immigration Act of 1924 was a law that was signed by President Coolidge in May of 1924. This act restricted the flow if immigrants allowed into this country to 2% of any given nation's residents in the U.S., as reported in...

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