The Great Depression : Economic Growth And Prosperity

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In American history, the Great Depression ranks second as the longest and most severe crisis ever experienced only dislodged from the first position by the Civil War. The Great Depression marked a period of economic downturn that resulted in severe declines in output, acute deflation, financial insecurity and severe unemployment rates. This was a sharp contrast from the early 1920’s when the country was experiencing a period of tremendous economic growth and prosperity. The Great Depression was brought about by a number of factors that included the declining consumer demand, a natural slowdown in the cycle of business, misguided government policies, panics within the financial markets and environmental disasters among others. Everyone felt the effects of the Great Depression on every part of the country, rural or urban. From the rich to the poor, the young to the old, white Americans to African Americans, no one was spared from the devastating effects of the depression. The experience of millions Americans suffering as a result of the Great Depression paint a clear picture on how serious the crisis was. Many Americans believed that it was the government’s role to alleviate them from the suffering and also offer relief aid to curb hunger and starvation. Letters sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt with photographs taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) show and tell the social experiences of many Americans during that period.
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