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OUTLINE THE MOST IMPORTANT CAUSES OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION PROVIDE APPROPRIATE EVIDENCE TO ILLUSTRATE THE SCALE OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION IN ADVANCED NATIONS The Great Depression was the largest economical disaster ever to have happened Unlike World War One fifteen years earlier the great depression had an astronomical effect world wide The economist Hobsbawm 1995 describes the depression as the worlds largest earthquake in economical terms Indeed the effect of this global economical demise was immense There are numerous reasons that led to and caused the Great Depression but undoubtedly the biggest contributor of the slump came in 1929 when the American stock market crashed The Wall Street Crash of 1929 sent shock waves through all the economies of industrialised nations and plunged the Capitalist system into the worst economic slump in history This essay will attempt to consider the effect of the Wall Street Crash in causing the Great Depression but also consider other causes such as the massive unequal distribution in income that existed and the lasting effects of the war in the form of debts owed to the US To understand the sheer consequence of the Great Depression we can consider a normal economy Most economies experience a Boom and Bust cycle where economies fluctuate between times of prosperity and times of recession The economist Maynard Keynes believed these cycles would occur roughly every seven years 1 However the Great Depression was more than a normal recession and nearly saw the end of the Capitalist system as we know it None of the capitalist economies had predicted it and none of their businessmen were prepared for it Karl Marx had believed that these cycles were a pattern leading to the ultimate destruction of Capitalism It was infact a Russian economist NDKondratiev who predicted a large economic downturn by looking at economies over a larger time scale or Wave A However the capitalist economists dismissed his claims On
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