how did the Great Depression affect people's lives?

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  • How did the Great Depression affect people's lives?
    • Ordinary shareholders
      • many investors lost a fortune during the crash
      • they often tried to pay off their bank loans by selling their valuable belongings, such as cars.
      • some people even struggled to pay their rent and faced homelessness
    • factory workers
      • many factory workers lost their jobs
      • the closure of one factory could affect all sorts of other businesses in the area too, for example: there were no workers to eat at local restaurants or visit the newsagent or hairdresser
      • in addition, banks had given away customers' savings as loans, so people lost the money they could have spent years saving
    • factory owners
      • factories were over producing goods.
      • after the crash, people could afford to buy even less. for example americans bought 4.5 million cars in 1927 - but car factories could not sell a quarter of that total by 1930. this is called underconsumption.
      • us factories also struggled to sell their products abroad because foreign countries taxed american goods heavily.
      • factory owners were forced to cut production, then wages, and eventually started to sack workers.
    • bank managers
      • banks loaned out huge amounts of money in the 1920s
      • many people spent it buying shares
      • when they couldn't pay the money back the banks went bankrupt and bank managers, and their staff lost their jobs.
    • the very rich
      • some members of he upper classes lost some of their wealth in the depression but they often had lots of property and land to fall back on.
      • they did still have to make some changes, though, such as sacking chauffeurs and cleaners and doing the work themselves
    • farmers
      • many farmers had been losing money for years
      • new farming methods meant they produced too much food, so they dropped prices to try to sell the excess
      • many farmers also had equipment loans from banks that were now demanding their money back.
      • with less money coming in, some farmers couldn't afford to pay their debts or mortgages.
      • they faced losing their farms and having to sack their workers.


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