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Causes of the Great Depression In 1929 the stock market crashed triggering the worst depression ever in US history which lasted for about a decade During the 1920s the unequal distribution of wealth and the stock market speculation combined to create an unstable economy by the end of the decade The unequal distribution of the wealth had several outlets Money was distributed between industry and agriculture within the US in social classes between the rich and middle class and lastly in world markets between America and Europe Due to the imbalance of the wealth the economy became very unstable The stock market crashed because of the excessive speculation in the 1920s which made the stock market artificially high Galbraith 175 The poor distribution of the wealth excessive speculation and the stock market crashes caused the US economy to fail signaling the start of the Great Depression The 1920s were a time when the American people and the economy were thriving This period of time was called the Roaring Twenties Unemployment dropped as low as 3 percent prices held steady and the gross national product climbed from 70 billion in 1922 to nearly 100 billion in1929 EV 525 However the prosperity of the 1920s was not shared evenly among the social classes in America A study conducted by the Brookings Institution stated 78 percent of all American families had incomes of less than 3000 Forty percent had family incomes of less than 1500 Only 23 percent of the population enjoyed incomes of over 10000 Sixty thousand American families held savings which amounted to the total held by the bottom 25 million families Goldston 26 The 40 percent of Americans at the lowest end of the economic scale received only 12 percent of the national income by 1929 EV 549 This maldistribution of income between the rich and the middle class increased throughout the 1920s A major reason for this large and growing gap between the
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