Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression

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Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression

In the words of Herbert Hoover, “Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves.” The 1930’s was a difficult time for most everyone. Imagine getting everything taken away. Losing everything. Maybe your house, maybe your job, maybe both. The Great Depression was the most horrifying event in the early 1930's; the three things that will be discussed are: What is the Great Depression and how it all got started, what went on during the Great Depression, and what Hoover did you provide belief.

Herbert Hoover has been accused of being a “do-nothing president” and has been blamed for allowing the country to continue in the Depression. Some people would admit that Hoover did take some action, but that it was too late. Hoover is often blamed because it was during his presidency that the stock market fell and the depression happened, He was the president of the United States during the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic downfall. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s. It was the longest and most severe depression of the 20th century. The depression all started in the United States, beginning with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday), but quickly spread to almost every country in the world. The Great Depression had effects on everyone even the rich. Personal income and tax revenue dropped dramatically. Unemployment in the United States increased to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Farming and rural areas suffered because crop prices fell 60 percent. In 1930, 2.25 million boys and girls ages 10–18 worked in factories, canneries, mines, and on farms. Children left school to support their families. Large numbers of people lived in poverty, and in need of more food, clothing, and shelter. In 1933 one in four Americans who wanted to work was unable to find a job. The Great Depression contained two periods of recession. The first began in August of 1929 which was two months before the stock market crash and ended in March of 1933. In the first recession the value of goods and services that the economy produced fell by about 42%. Within four years the first recession began to recover but was not completed by the time the second one began. In this recession it lasted 13 months from May 1937 until June 1938 and output fell by 9%.

There wasn’t much anyone could do about the Great Depression. Although money was tight and people were out of jobs they still had to find a way to entertain themselves. Everything was homemade – the food, the games, the music – there were even homemade portable dance floors. But traditional organized activities – like rodeo and football – were popular as well. Neighbors got together to play cards and other games and to talk. Church socials and school programs gave people a chance to visit and maybe meet someone new. Soda fountains and local dances gave young people a chance to enjoy themselves and to go on dates. Lots of people enjoyed movies, music, and dancing. Children read comic strips for fun and adults loved to read about the exciting lives of rich people in big cities. Newspapers showed stories and pictures about high society events. The radio became very popular. It connected people to the world. People liked listening to sports and news, as well as jazz and swing music. Singing telegrams were popular as well. Families enjoyed new board games such as "Monopoly" and "Scrabble" which first came out during the 1930s. Also, they played records on a phonograph. Baseball was popular to play and to watch. Some families had fun putting together puzzles with hundreds of pieces.

Herbert Hoover tried to fix the Great Depression, although he too late. Some of the projects he tried were the Boulder Dam, which was designed to jump-start the economy and add jobs. He wanted to reform banking to provide mortgage relief, and funnel more federal money into business investment. Congress passed the Federal Home Loan Bank Act, which lowered mortgage rates for homeowners and allowed farmers to refinance their farm loans and avoid foreclosure. Hoover's got involved in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, authorizing to provide emergency financing to banks, life insurance companies, railroads and other large businesses. Though Franklin Roosevelt indeed in fact create the New Deal, helping 6 million people become employed, he did not "completely cure the Great Depression. World War 2 was the main reason that the United States got out of the Great Depression.

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