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When you mention the Great Depression many people think of the poor farmers in the Oklahoma Panhandle whose livie hoods were blown into the sky by years of drought and dust storms The Great Depression had a devastating impact on the nation spreading across the countryside and bringing hardship to big cities and small towns No social racial or economic class was excluded At the depth of the depression in 1933 one American worker in every four was out of a job The Great Depression affected the world economy from October 1929 to 1934 after the American Wall Street Stock Market crash The crash caused a drop in worldwide production and prices and caused a massive unemployment rate in free market economies throughout the western world On Oct 24 1929 the complete collapse of the stock market began about 13 million shares of stock were sold Tuesday October 29--known since as Black Tuesdayworsened the damage more than 16 million shares were sold in one day This caused the value of most shares to fall sharply leaving financial ruin and panic in its wake There had been financial panics before and there have been some since but never did a collapse in the market have such a devastating and long-term effect on the Nation Like a snowball rolling downhill it got larger and larger and swept away the whole economy Businesses closed putting millions out of work Banks failed by the hundreds When the banks failed people panicked because one bank would have bad luck and close down so they would go withdraw all their money from their bank and then that would force that bank to close down-it was a chain reaction With the banks and businesses failing there wasnt any money to pay workers so wages for those still fortunate enough to have work fell quickly The value of money decreased as the demand for goods declined The Government itself was pressed for
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