causes of the great depression

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early nineteenth century the United States had experienced recessions or panics at least every twenty years. But none were as severe or lasted as long as the Great Depression. Only as the country got ready for war in the late 1930s did the depression finally start to ease.
Stock prices had been rising steadily since 1921, but in 1928 and 1929 they surged forward, with the average price of stocks rising over 40 percent. The stock market was totally unregulated. Margin buying in particular proceeded at a rapid pace as people borrowed up to 75 percent of the price of stocks. That easy credit lured more speculators and less creditworthy people into the stock market. The Federal Reserve even warned member banks not to lend money for stock speculation because if prices dropped, many people would not be able to pay back their debts. No one listened. The stock market began sliding in early September, but people ignored the warning. Then on "black Thursday" October 24, 1929 and again on "black Tuesday" (October 29, 1929) the ball dropped. More than 28 million shares changed hands in frantic trading. Worried investors, suddenly finding themselves in heavily in debt, began selling their stocks. Many found that no one would buy anything at any price. Overnight, stock values fell from a peak value of 87 billion dollars to 55 billion dollars.
The crash was felt far beyond the trading floors. People who borrowed money from the banks to buy their stocks could not repay the loans because they could not sell stocks. This caused many banks to fail. Since bank deposits were uninsured before the 1930s, depositors lost all of their money, which in many cases was all that many people had. The stock market crash intensified the course of the Great Depression in many ways. Besides wiping out the savings of thousands, it hurt commercial banks tha


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