Women in the Great Depression: Investigating Assumptions by Roberta McCutcheon Introduction The greatest economic calamity in the history of the United States occurred in the third decade of the twentieth century. When the stock market crashed in and the economy plummeted over the next few years, the nation sunk into the most pervasive depression in American history.
You can help by adding to it. April Marxists generally argue that the Great Depression was the result of the inherent instability of the capitalist model. Oil prices reached their all-time low in the early s as production began from the East Texas Oil Fieldthe largest field ever found in the lower 48 states.
With the oil market oversupplied prices locally fell to below ten cents per barrel. Electrification and mass production techniques such as Fordism permanently lowered the demand for labor relative to economic output.
Filene were among prominent businessmen who were concerned with overproduction and underconsumption. Ford doubled wages of his workers in The over-production problem was also discussed in Congress, with Senator Reed Smoot proposing an import tariff, which became the Smoot—Hawley Tariff Act.
The Smoot—Hawley Tariff was enacted in June, The tariff was misguided because the U. These trends are in nowise the result of the present depression, nor are they the result of the World War. On the contrary, the present depression is a collapse resulting from these long-term trends.
King Hubbert  In the book Mechanization in Industry, whose publication was sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Jerome noted that whether mechanization tends to increase output or displace labor depends on the elasticity of demand for the product.
It was further noted that agriculture was adversely affected by the reduced need for animal feed as horses and mules were displaced by inanimate sources of power following WW I.
As a related point, Jerome also notes that the term " technological unemployment " was being used to describe the labor situation during the depression.
Wells,  The dramatic rise in productivity of major industries in the U. This decision was made to cut the production of goods because of the amount of products that were not being sold.
Farmers were forced off the land, further adding to the excess labor supply. Agricultural productivity resulting from tractors, fertilizers and hybrid corn was only part of the problem; the other problem was the change over from horses and mules to internal combustion transportation.
The horse and mule population began declining after WW 1, freeing up enormous quantities of land previously used for animal feed. Most of the benefit of the increased productivity went into profits, which went into the stock market bubble rather than into consumer purchases. Thus workers did not have enough income to absorb the large amount of capacity that had been added.
It was argued that government should intervene by an increased taxation of the rich to help make income more equal.
In the USA the economic policies had been quite the opposite until Americans looked towards insubstantial banking units for their own liquidity supply. As the economy began to fail, these banks were no longer able to support those who depended on their assets — they did not hold as much power as the larger banks.
Monetary policy, according to this view, was thereby put into a deflationary setting that would over the next decade slowly grind away at the health of many European economies. This resulted in inflation because the supply of new money that was created was spent on war, not on investments in productivity to increase demand that would have neutralized inflation.
The view is that the quantity of new money introduced largely determines the inflation rate, and therefore, the cure to inflation is to reduce the amount of new currency created for purposes that are destructive or wasteful, and do not lead to economic growth.
After the war, when America and the nations of Europe went back on the gold standard, most nations decided to return to the gold standard at the pre-war price. When Britain, for example, passed the Gold Standard Act ofthereby returning Britain to the gold standard, the critical decision was made to set the new price of the Pound Sterling at parity with the pre-war price even though the pound was then trading on the foreign exchange market at a much lower price.
At the time, this action was criticized by John Maynard Keynes and others, who argued that in so doing, they were forcing a revaluation of wages without any tendency to equilibrium. One of the reasons for setting the currencies at parity with the pre-war price was the prevailing opinion at that time that deflation was not a danger, while inflation, particularly the inflation in the Weimar Republic, was an unbearable danger.
Another reason was that those who had loaned in nominal amounts hoped to recover the same value in gold that they had lent. This arrangement was codified in the Dawes Plan. In some cases, deflation can be hard on sectors of the economy such as agriculture, if they are deeply in debt at high interest rates and are unable to refinance, or that are dependent upon loans to finance capital goods when low interest rates are not available.
Deflation erodes the price of commodities while increasing the real liability of debt. Deflation is beneficial to those with assets in cash, and to those who wish to invest or purchase assets or loan money.Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses—and Misuses—of History.
By Barry Eichengreen. Oxford University Press; pages; $ Buy from rutadeltambor.com Great Depression - Political movements and social change: Aside from the Civil War, the Great Depression was the gravest crisis in American history.
Just as in the Civil War, the United States appeared—at least at the start of the s—to be falling apart. But for all the turbulence and the panic, the ultimate effects of the Great Depression were less .
This is a set of vocabulary words that go along with the Great Depression unit created by Dina Holbrook with help from Matthew Thompson. The effects of the downturn were amplified by the gold standard and maldistribution of wealth and bank failures and protectionism in trade. The search for one true underlying cause for the Great Depression may, in the end, be something of a chicken and egg problem.
America's economy during the Great Depression became a seemingly . Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page.
This information is related to the effects of the Great Recession that happened worldwide from to Overview. The Great Recession was the worst post-World War II contraction on personal economics, economic uncertainty and high airline prices.
The Great Depression Teaching Resources its financial impact never paralleled that of the Great Depression. This Page One Economics Newsletter compares these two economic downturns Students listen to the story Meet Kit about a young girl’s life in America during the Great Depression.
They learn through discussion and role-playing.