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05-20-08 Depression-Era Culture

05-20-08 Depression-Era Culture - Depression-Era Culture I...

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Depression-Era Culture I. Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression: Overview II. Culture of Conformity III.“The Cultural Front” a. Radical Politics b. Immigrant Impact on National Culture via movies, theater, art and radio For Paper due on Thursday: - 1 inch margins - double spaced - 10 or 12 font - 5 pgs, half page over or under - specific references to the text - “topic sentences” – first sentence of every paragraph should identify or summarize the simple point or subject matter of the paragraph. - citing lecture shouldn’t be necessary; “Professor Klein pointed out…” is okay. - at the end of paper indicate the edition of the book (Dreisser) I. There were ominous signs that the consumerism bubble was about to burst. In 1928 when president Hoover took office he was privately uneasy and sold all of his own stock. Inequality between rich and poor was growing. Agricultural value was dropping, many farmers were suffering. The most ominous sign was that the super rich were gaining the large portion of disposable income. But the wealthiest 1% enjoyed a 75% in disposable income but on average the disposable income of Americans was dropping. The wealthiest people were spending money on luxury goods, but not mass produced goods that the economy depended on. Through the 1920s, these signs of trouble hardly affected Wall Street; millions of people joined a stock- buying spree by borrowing money. 1929 the bubble burst… it took 40 years for the market to reach what it was experiencing before the plunge. Problem was banks were heavily involved in speculation and not regulated; when the market crashed, many banks did too. Thousands of banks failed and tens of thousands of people lost their jobs. Depression resulted from unregulated banking. At the same time the industries that were producing more than the Americans could absorb, were being affected. Between 1929 and 1933, a
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