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How The North-East Was Affected By The Great Depression
It is quite interesting that that the Depression actually started in the North-East. On October 24 1929(known as Black Thursday), prices on the New York stock exchange crashed, and investors lost huge amounts of money. This started The Great Depression. In this paper I will explain an interesting view of why and how the North-East region was affected during The Great Depression.
The North-East consists of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The North-East was one of the regions that were undergoing immense trouble. One reason is that New York is the capital of finance. News reporters did not have to travel far to report on The Great Depression. Also people looked up to the media and the media made the crisis even worse than it was.; this scared people even more.
The Great Depression also had a psychological impact on America that had to do with North-East as well. Since New York had the most powerful banking industry, this especially affected New York and its surrounding states.
Before the financial market crash, New York Times and Wall Street Journal had written:” Everything is going extremely well”. After the crash, the same publications said that the economy was still capable of being successful.
Men, who controlled Wall Street, had deep ties to the North-East. This is one of the reasons North-East suffered so harshly. A lot of traders profited only from the stock fluctuation, what we call now, “day traders”; they borrowed money and then sold the stock quickly when the stock moved higher. This is also one of the reasons of The Great Depression.
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Millions of people in the North-East lost their jobs and were kicked out from their houses. For example nearly 200,000 New Yorkers were kicked from their apartments as they could not pay rent. Nearly 64 percent of construction workers were laid off in New York. In Philadelphia 1300 people per month were kicked out from their apartments.
A lot of people turned to crime, to feed their families. For example, In Pittsburgh, a man stole a loaf of bread to feed his children.
Tens of thousands of people, in New York City, had to live on the streets, or in tents located on the East river, and the Hudson river. The city’s largest tent camp was in Central Park.
The depression in the North-East spread to the countryside. Farming in the North-East was depressed for nearly 10 years.
In the North-East, bad economic conditions triggered violent protests against capitalism. The Communist and socialist parties organized these protests. The protests took place in New York City, Washington D.C. , Boston.
On labor day in 1934 textile workers from New England went on strike. This strike spread in the United States, and 300,000 took part in it. This was the most violent strike in US. History. For example in Fall Rivers, Massachusetts , ten thousand workers surrounded a mill, and did not let the strikebreakers go to work.
As you can see, the North-East economy was devastated by the Great Depression, but when President Roosevelt was elected he took strong measures to end the Depression : he created The Civil Works Administration, which put a lot of people to work. New York City received 252 million in help from the government.
I hope that the current economic situation will not lead to a new Depression.