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What do you think caused and/or prolonged the Great Depression? Provide examples to support your argument.

Causes of the Great Depression Q&A




What do you think caused and/or prolonged the Great Depression. Provide examples to support your argument. 
 
ANSWER:  I believe that the Great Depression was not caused and prolonged by one direct factor but by a combination of several factors. Some of the causes that most definitely made it happen in the first place were the Stock Market Crash of October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday), the U.S. not reducing the the WWI defts owed by foreign countries, and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930 that raised a high tax for imports which lead to LESS TRADE between the U.S. and foreign countries, as well as other protectionist tariffs...A decline in trade was an important factor because if no one is buying our goods then we cannot make money! Factors that prolonged the Great Depression were all of the thousands of bank failures throughout the 1930s (caused it & prolonged it) as well as the huge reduction of people purchasing items, which led to a reduction in the number of items produced, and then a reduction in the workforce. Underconsumption caused by people panicking DURING the Depression was a prolonging factor more than a cause, in my opinion...Milton Friedman's theory of people hoarding money by consuming less before wasn't the case...it was that they had no money to spend or to invest because of lack of jobs ~ “No Job, No Hope”. And, the lack of jobs was because of that Smoot-Hawley Tariff passed in 1930. Over-indebtedness and inflation cannot be helped or solved if nobody has an income. Economist David Hume said it best, "the economy became imbalanced as the recession spread on an international scale. The cost of goods remained too high for too long during a time where there was LESS INTERNATIONAL TRADE, hence the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. Foreign countries should not have been expected to pay a very high U.S. tariff when they were unable to pay their WWI debts to the United States.

Ashley Tisdale

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