Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Little Taste Of History (28)

Topic: The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression

Words such as Panics, Depressions and Economic Crisis were commonly used to describe periods of financial upheavals, occurring at regular intervals, whose practices would have a devastating effect upon the entire nation as a whole. While some were short-lived , those of long term were more complex. The Panic of 1929 and the ensuing depression were the most terrible the nation had ever suffered. Most of these panics would begin in New York City at the Stock Exchange and soon spread across the entire nation, leading to the closing of banks, businesses, mortgage forfeitures and not to mention mass unemployment as well. After the worst of the crisis was over, it would be back to business as usual, resuming its former prosperity and growth until a new economic crisis would eventually occur.

The Roaring Twenties was a unique dramatic era in all of its aspect. " America was enjoying an era of great prosperity." Economic expansion created booming business profits which in turn raised the standard of living for most Americans.

By 1928 everyone was singing praises to the glory days of America. It was a time when American businessmen and economists were feeling overly confident that the erratic fluctuations in the business cycle were finally under control. They were not even curious about the terrible sense of foreboding of some impending doom that was looming over the nation like a black cloud. Little did they know at the time that this would be a rude awakening for the "American Dream' of many, which they undoubtedly would be caught unprepared.. During October 24-28, 1929, the stock market crashed plunging the nation into one of the worst and longest depressions ever seen in its entire financial history lasting from the end of 1929 until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Millions of shares changed hands and billions of dollars in value were lost.

"Brother Can You Spare A Dime" is an essay which I wrote reflecting on the Years leading up to and including the Great Depression.

To Read the essay click here.

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