Before Georgia’s cotton farmers began to diversify and move away from their heavy dependence upon cotton, Georgia agriculture was devastated by a destructive insect, the bollweevil, that destroyed Georgia’s cotton crop. From 1915 to 1923, Georgia’s cotton crop dropped from 1.75 million bales a year to 600,000 bales a year, a decrease of about 66%.
From 1924 to 1925, Georgia was struck by a severe drought, receiving the lowest amounts of annual rainfall in recorded history. 1925 was so bad, it was called “the year you could walkacross the Chattahoochee.”
The terrible farm conditions forced farmers to migrate to the cities.
The agricultural conditions of the 1920s were followed by the GreatDepression, the longest period of high unemployment and low economic activity in modern times. Though this event was triggered by the stockmarketcrashof1929, it was caused by several factors:
(1) Industrial overproduced goods.
(2) Declining sales led to lower wages or layoffs.
(3) Citizens had less spending power.
(4) Less spending power meant that fewer goods would be purchased.
People overspeculated on the stock market, borrowing money that they could not pay back when the stock market crashed.