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causes of depression

causes of depression - 1b DISCUSS THE CAUSES OF THE GREAT...

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1 b DISCUSS THE CAUSES OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION, NOT JUST THE STOCK MARKET CRASH. COVER THE SERIOUS UNDERLYING CAUSES FOR THE DEPRESSION. TRY TO EXPLAIN IT TO SOMEONE. WHY IT HAPPENED AND WHAT HAPPENED? I. Social Aspects – By the 1920s, Americans are tired of reform. The progressive era had dominated, and reform was everywhere (business, society, political, etc.) and they had been hassled with the war. Americans were scarred by their experience in Europe with the first industrial war. There was an overall sense of determination of not being dragged into another European conflict. They adopted a more isolationist point of view. They were inward looking but not reforming. America turned back to business in the 1920s. It had been out of favor throughout the progressive era but it was now backing in force. The idea of business efficiency was back in favor. Warren Harding campaigned on the slogan that America needed to get “Back to Normalcy” and he meant in terms of recovering from reform. They wanted less government in business and more business in government (Republican). A. Change and Conflict – American society was changing because of modernization. Modern America was emerging (for example the flapper). Of course there were some people who were dragging their heels and who wanted to maintain tradition. New and Modern does not mean better, or at least that’s how the conservatives viewed it. Conflict develops from this battle of traditional versus modern. In the 1920s, it generally translated to Urban v. Rural. Rural Americans (particularly in the South) were pulling against the modern way of life. America was becoming more and more industrialized and urbanized. American cities are beginning to grow, not only from external migration but also from internal migration (from rural to urban areas). Cities were seen as dirty crowded places that were full of corruption, foreigners, and crime. New York and Chicago were big on foreigners. They were bringing new kinds of ideas and customs that were not viewed as a positive change for America. Urban Americans were increasingly viewing rural people as boring, uneducated, and unsophisticated. They led boring roles in their lives and they were hicks. There was increasing conflict between these two drastic views. 1. Literature – Novels of Sinclair Lewis, Thomas Wolf who were both from small towns and they ridiculed small towns. They depicted the inhabitants of these towns as mean spirited and harsh people. They were writing novels that were not flattering portraits of rural Americans. Magazines are beginning to appear that were specifically for the urban life, like the New Yorker (1925), and the American Mercury. Many of the articles in these magazines ridiculed country life. H. L. Mencken was editor of the American Mercury and he had a particular dislike for rural America. Tension between country and city were showing up in the literature in the 1920s.
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