The Great Depression (Economics - Taking the Mystery out of Money)

The Great Depression (Economics - Taking the Mystery out of Money)

Brian Duignan, Britannica Educational Publishing

Language: English

Pages: 77

ISBN: 2:00246870

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Age range: 13 - 17 Years

Overview

When the United States suffered through the Great Recession of 2007–09, the downturn was frequently referred to as the worst since the Great Depression. Indeed, at 18 months, the Great Recession was the longest recession the U.S. had experienced since the 1930s. Still, even that recent experience cannot give people today much of a feel for what America went through from 1929 to 1939, when the Great Depression held the nation (and much of the world) in its grip.

Spanning two recessions totalling a combined 56 months, the Great Depression was not simply a temporary economic setback but a period of severe hardship that profoundly affected both rich and poor. It changed the course of world politics and left a permanent mark on U.S. government institutions and American popular culture. In the generation that witnessed it the Great Depression instilled a profound caution about money, an ethos that was in stark contrast to the excesses that later led to the global financial crisis, which significantly worsened the Great Recession in 2008–09.

This book is designed to give readers a view of the Great Depression, not purely from an economic standpoint but also with respect to its personal, political, and cultural effects. This book will also give readers a sense of the diverse forces that influence economic growth. A discussion of economic cycles is a useful starting point for this examination of the Great Depression because it helps put the events of the time in perspective.

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security and comfort of life to all of the firesides of our 25 million homes in America, whether our social system provides for the fundamental development and progress of our people, whether our form of government is capable of originating and sustaining that security and progress. This question is the basis upon which our opponents are appealing to the people in their fears and distress. They are proposing changes and so-called new deals which would destroy the very foundations of our American

fighting chance to men to hold their homes. We saved the integrity of our government and the honesty of the American dollar. And we installed measures which today are bringing back recovery. Employment, agriculture, business—all of these show the steady, if slow, healing of our enormous wound. I therefore contend that the problem of today is to continue these measures and policies to restore this American system to its normal functioning, to repair the wounds it has received, to correct the

rather than ended the Great Depression T.H. Watkins, The Hungry Years: A Narrative History of the Great Depression in America (1999), is a comprehensive political and social history of the Great Depression in the United States; while Piers Brendon, The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s (2000), takes a more international approach. Other works that deal with cultural issues, both in the 1930s and in the 20th century broadly, include Richard H. Pells, Radical Visions and American Dreams:

grip. Spanning two recessions totalling a combined 56 months, the Great Depression was not simply a temporary economic setback but a period of severe hardship that profoundly affected both rich and poor. It changed the course of world politics and left a permanent mark on U.S. government institutions and American popular culture. In the generation that witnessed it the Great Depression instilled a profound caution about money, an ethos that was in stark contrast to the excesses that later led to

the huge declines in the American money supply partly to preserve the gold standard. Under the gold standard, each country adopts a fixed quantity of gold as a standard unit of currency or sets the value of its currency at a fixed quantity of gold. The currency is freely convertible at home or abroad into a fixed amount of gold per unit of currency. It is possible that, had the Fed greatly expanded the money supply in response to the banking panics, foreigners could have lost confidence in the

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