America in the 1920's - Causes

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Isolationism - Causes

CAUSES: 

  • US OPINION AGAINST TANGLING IN US AFFAIRS - DIDN'T JOIN LON - DIDN'T WANT MORE MEN TO DIE AND MORE MONEY TO BE SPENT
  • HAD MADE MONEY FROM WARTIME
  • WARREN HARDING ELECTED - REPUBLICAN - WANTED ISOLATIONISM
  • REJECTED TREATY OF VERSAILLES
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Isolationism - Consequences

  • LEAD TO ATTEMPTS TO CONTROL IMMIGRATION:
    • AMERICA WANTED TO KEEP COUNTRY TO JUST WHITE ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANTS
    • FEARED NEW IMMIGRANTS WOULD TAKE JOBS OR BE COMMUNISTS
    • ENGLISH TESTS
    • EMERGANCY QUOTA ACT - 3% PEOPLE FROM COUNTRY ALREADY LIVING IN US
    • NATIONAL ORIGINS ACT 1924 - REDUCED TO 2% OF POPULATION IN 1890
    • REDUCED TO 150,000 AND IMMIGRATION FROM ASIA STOPPED IN 1929
  • LEAD TO TARRIFF POLICY - KEPT FOREGN GOODS OUT OF US ECONOMY
    • FORDNEY MCCUMBER ACT - HIGHEST TARRIFFS EVER - AVERAGE DUTY 40%
  • KEPT USA OUT OF EUROPEAN AFFAIRS
    • WILSON WANTED USA TO JOIN LON 
    • HARDING ELECTED - WANTED 'AMERICA FIRST' - REJECTED TREATY
    • HARDING REPUBLICAN - ISOLATIONISTS - DID NOT WANT TO SPEND AMERICAN MONEY OR LOSE AMERICAN LIVES OVER 'DESTRUCTIVE FORCES OF THE OLD WORLD'
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Mass Production - Consequences

  • BOOM - PRODUCTS PRODUCED MORE QUICKLY AND EASILY
    • PRICES WENT DOWN AND WEDGES WENT UP
    • BY 1929, CARS WERE WORTH LESS THAT THREE MONTHS PAY FOR AVERAGE WORKER
    • ALLOWED PEOPLE TO BECOME MORE WEALTHY
    • ALLOWED INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION TO ALMOST DOUBLE WITHOUT EXTRA WORKFORCE NEEDED
    • PRICES REDUCED FROM 950 DOLALRS IN 1909 TO 290 DOLLARS IN 1928
    • ASSEMBLY LINE - EACH WORKER HAD OWN JOB - CAR PRODUCED IN 93 MINUTES INSTEAD OF 14 HOURS
  • BOOM - MILLIONS WORKED IN INDUSTRY
    • 4 MILLION IN MOTOR INDUSTRY
    • A LOT OF PEOPLES LIVES DEPENDED ON MASS PRODUCTION
    • MASS PRODUCTION BOOMING - OTHER INDUSTRIES BENEFITED E.G. FASHION
  • BOOM - PRODUCTS MORE ACCESSABLE
    • CANNED FRUIT AND VEG MORE THAN DOUBLED OVER 20'S
    • TELEPHONES DOUBLED
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Mass Production - Consequences

  • REGIONAL GRIDS
    • LIGHT AND POWER COMPANIES - SMALL LOCAL COMPANIES BECAME LARGE REGIONAL GRIDS
    • 1930 - 10 LARGE COMPANIES CONTROLLED 72% OF US ELECTRIC POWER
  • ADVERTISING
    • BOOM IN ADVERTISING - BILLBOARDS, MAIL ORDER CATALOGUES, NEWSPAPERS, RADIO
    • FASHION INDUSTRY BOOMING BECAUSE OF MASS PRODUCTION - ADVERTISING
  • CONSUMERISM 
    • BIGGER INDUSTRIES BECAME BIGGER AS THEY BOUGHT UP SMALLER BUISNESSES
    • CHAIN STORES APPEARED E.G. WOOLWORTHS
    • END OF 20'S - 200 LARGEST CORPORATIONS OWNED 20% OF NATIONS WEALTH
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Share Purchase - Consequences

  • SHARE PRICES ROSE MASSIVELY
    • INVESTORS COULD BUY SHARES OF COMPANIES AND SELL THEM FOR HIGHER PRICE - MADE PROFIT
    • SHARE PRICES INCREASED BY ABOUT 300% OVER THE 1920'S
  • ALLOWED PEOPLE TO BUY SHARES 'ON THE MARGIN'
    • MEANT THAT INVESTORS COULD BORROW MONEY TO PAY FOR SHARES
    • INCREASED AMOUNT OF PEOPLE BUYING SHARES - SHARES COULD BE SOLD MORE EASILY
  • BANK LOANED MONEY THEY DIDN'T HAVE
    • CONFIDENT PEOPLE WOULD PAY IT BACK BEFORE COSTUMERS WANTED TO WITHDRAW SAVINGS
    • PEOPLE ABLE TO BURROW FROM BANK TO BUY SHARES TO BE SOLD FOR HIGHER PRICE
  • PROSPERITY - PEOPLE SOLD ON SHARES FOR HIGHER PRICES
    • INVESTORS MADE MONEY
    • MARKET BOOMING - LOADS OF PEOPLE BUYING - LOT'S SELLING FOR HIGHER PRICES
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Tariff Policy - Consequences

  • AMERICAN GOODS CHEAPER - HELPED AMERICAN INDUSTRIES
    • MORE PEOPLE BOUGHT GOODS MADE BY AMERICAN INDUSTRIES - HIGHER DEMAND
    • RESTORED HIGH RATES IMPOSED BEFORE WWI
    • PROTECTED BUISNESSES FROM FOREIGN COMPETITION
  • INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS DAMAGED
    • OTHER COUNTRIES RESPONDED WITH AMERCAN TARRIFFS
  • HELPED END OPPOSITION FROM FARMERS TO POLICY OF PROTECTION
    • ALSO PUT HIGH TARRIFFS ON FARMING PRODUCTS
    • FARMERS EARNED MORE MONEY
  • GAVE PRESIDENT POWER TO RAISE OR LOWER TARRIFFS
    • OUT FO 37 TIMES VARIED, RAISED 32 TIMES
  • LAISSEZ AFFAIR - GOVERNMENT INTERFERED AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE WITH BUISNESSES
    • PEOPLE KEPT OWN MONEY, THEY WOULD SPEND IT ON AMERICAN GOODS - GOOD FOR ECONOMY
    • WEALTHY PEOPLE WOULD INVEST IT BACK IN INDUSTRY
  • ALLOWED DEVELOPMENT OF TRUSTS - COMPLETE CONTROL OF VITAL SECTOR OF INDUSTRY
    • PEOPLE OF AMERICA KNEW BEST - 'CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY' - PROSPERITY
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Advertising and Hire Purchase - Consequences

  • ADVERTISERS USED WHAT WAS LEARNED FROM WARTIME PROPAGANDA
    • EXPLOSION OF TECHNIQUES - BILLBOARDS, MAIL ORDER CATALOGUES ETC.
    • PRODUCTS MORE KNOWN OF - MORE CONSUMERS
    • PEOPLE HAD MORE MONEY - MORE PEOPLE BOUGHT PRODUCTS - COMPANIES MORE MONEY
  • ENOURMOUS BOOM IN CONSUMER GOODS
    • ENCOURAGED AMERICANS TO SPEND MONEY ON GOODS
  • GOODS COULD BE BOUGHT ON HIRE PURCHASE
    • 'BUY NOW, PAY LATER' SCHEME
    • AMERICANS SPENT MONEY THEY DIDN'T HAVE ON THINGS
    • 8 OUT OF 10 RADIOS BOUGHT ON CREDIT
    • BOOM IN SALES - INCREASED DEMAND IN FACTORIES
  • INCREASED DEMAND IN FACTORIES
    • HIRE PURCHASE - MORE PEOPLE AFFORD PRODUCTS - MORE BOUGHT
    • INCREASED DEMAND IN FACTORIES - MORE WORKERS EMPLOYED AND PAYED
    • WEDGES WENT UP - PEOPLE COULD AFORD WHAT THEY OWED
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Development in Entertainment Industries

  • THE ROARING 20'S
    • PEOPLE HAD A LOT OF MONEY - SPENT IT ON ENTERTAINMENT
  • JAZZ BECAME POPULAR
    • DEVELOPED OUT OF RAGTIME BLUES AMOUNG BLACK PEOPLE IN SOUTH USA - SPREAD THROUGHOUT USA - MUSICIANS GAINED SELF RESPECT AND ADMIRATION
    • JAZZ CLUBS E.G. COTTON CLUB - VISITED A LOR BY YOUNG PEOPLE - SHAKING OFF TRADITIONS
    • BLACK MUSICIANS E.G. DUKE ELLINGTON FAMOUS
  • AVAILABILITY OF RADIO - MUSIC AND SPORT SPREAD AND SHARED EASILY
    • BY 1929 OVER 10 MILLION HOMES HAD A RADIO
    • E.G. BASEBALL, BOXING - PEOPLE HAD MORE TIME, MEANS OF TRAVEL, MONEY TO WATCH GAMES
  • NEW DANCES E.G. CHARLESTON
    • SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE - FROWNED UPON BY OLDER GENERATION
  • NEW CRAZES - DANCE MARATHONS, RECORD BREAKING ETC.
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Cinema

  • 110 M GOING TO CINEMA EACH WEEK BY 1929
    • LATE 20'S FILMS SILENT
    • SOME ROMANTIC, SOME COMEDY
    • PIANO PLAYERS EMPLOYED
  • BIG FILM COMPANIES E.G. PARAMOUNT DEVELOPED
    • STUDIOS CENTRED IN HOLYWOOD - SUNNY, CLOSE TO MOUNTAIN AND DESSERT SCENERY
    • LARGE PUBLICITY DEPARTMENTS HIGHLIGHTED STAR ACTORS
  • THE JAZZ SINGER
    • FIRST NON SILENT FILM - SILENT SCREEN STARTED TO ADAPT TO CHANGES
    • UNSUCCESSFUL - VOICES UNATTRACTIVE
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Rich vs. Poor

  • POORLY DISTRIBUTED WEALTH
    • 1929 - 1/3 OF NATIONS WEALTH SHARED BY 5% OF POPULATION
    • NATIONAL INCOME OF USA BIGGER THAN BRITAIN AND 21 OTHER COUNTRIES PUT TOGETHER
    • TREMENDOUS WEALTH BUT SOME EXTREME POVERTY
  • BLACK PEOPLE
    • 10% POPULATION - MOST LIVED IN MISERY AND POVERTY - SEEN AS INFERIOR RACE
    • MANY LIVED IN SOUTH - LIVING CONDITIONS APPALLING
    • POOR IMMIGRANTS - NOT WHITE SEEN AS THREAT TO USA LIVING STANDARDS AND AGRICULTURE
  • INFERIOR WHITE GROUPS
    • WORKERS IN OLD INDUSTRIES E.G. COAL LEATHER AND TEXTILES EXPLOITED
    • E.G. COAL STRIKE 1928 - MEN $18, WOMEN $9 - $48 BELIEVED TO BE MINIMUM - MAJORITY PAID LESS
    • ESTIMATED 42% LIVED BELOW POVERTY LINE - DIDN'T HAVE MONEY NEEDED FOR NECESSITIES
    • 1929 - 71% ANNUAL INCOMES UNDER $2,500 
    • CHILDREN EXPLOITED - 2 MILLION 14-15 YEAR OLDS - 11 HOURS A DAY - VERY LOW PAY
  • FARMERS
    • FARM INCOME DROPPED FROM %22 TO $13 BILLION BETWEEN 1919 AND 1928
    • OVERPRODUCTION - MACHINERY - TOO EFFICIENT - PRODUCING SURPLUS THAT COULDN'T BE SOLD
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Immigration Controls

  • 1917 LITERACY TEST 
    • FAVOURED THOSE FROM NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE - MOSTLY WHITE AND PROTESTANT
    • INEFFECTIVE - FEAR THAT MILLIONS OF IMMIGRANTS WOULD FLOOD TO USA AFTER WAR ENDED
  • 1921 - EMERGENCY QUOTAS ACT
    • NUMBER OF PEOPLE ADMITTED TO USA IN ANY YEAR LIMITED TO 3% OF ALL EMIGRANTS FROM GIVEN COUNTRY WHO WERE RESIDENT OF USA IN 1910
    • FAVOURED N AND W EUROPEANS - EMMIGRATED IN LARGEST NUMBERS OVER LAST 200 YEARS
  • 1924 - NATIONAL ORIGINS ACT
    • 3% REDUCED TO 2%
    • YEAR OF RESIDENCY PUSHED BACK TO 1890 - SIGNIFICANT AS HUGE INCREASE OF IMMIGRANTS BEFORE WWI FROM RUSSIA, ITALY, TURKEY, GREECE
    • OVERALL NUMBER OF EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS RESTRICTED TO 150,000
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Ku Klux Klan

  • SEGREGATION
    • BLACKS GAINED FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY IN 1860'S - STILL SUFFERED FROM DISCRIMINATION
    • SEGREGATION LEGAL IN S STATES WHERE MOST BLACKS LIVED - WORT JOBS/HOUSES, COULDN'T EAT/TRAVEL WITH WHITES, COULDN'T EXPACT FAIR TREATMENT IN COURT
    • MARRIAGE BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITES FORBIDDEN
  • JIM CROW LAWS 1896
    • US SUPREME COURT GAVE LEGAL APPROVAL FOR JCL - TREATING BLACKS AS INFERIOR - WHITES COULD PROTECT WAY OF LIFE - EXPLOIT THOSE RACIALLY INFERIOR
    • MEANT 1M LEFT SOUTH TO MIGRATE TO N - JOBS AVAILABLE IN EXPANDING CITIES E.G. FACTORY WORK
    • CONDITIONS LITTLE BETTER - BLACKS FIRST TO LOSE JOBS AND PAYED LEAST
    • GHETTOS GREW IN CITIES E.G. NY
  • KKK
    • PREACHED INTOLERANCE - SPREAD FEAR AMOUNG BLACKS - MANY WHITE PEOPLE JOINED - VALUES
    • ORIGIONALLY FORMED 1866 - DISBANDED AND REFORMED IN 1915 - OPPOSED TO ALL FOREIGNERS
    • 1920-25 - 5 MILLION MEMBERS - JUDGES, POLICEMEN, POLITICIANS
    • SOME JOINED - EXCITEMENT, SOME FEAR OF CINSEQUENCES, SOME BELIEVED DEFENDING USA 
    • KLANSMEN MET IN SECTRET - NIGHT - PARADED DURING DAY
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Ku Klux Klan

  • WORE WHITE HOODS
  • CARRIED USA FLAGS AND BURNING CROSSES DURING NIGHT TIME MEETINGS
  • TALKED IN CODE - KLONVERSATION
  • BOOK OF RULES - KLORAN
  • BLACK PEOPLE FEARED KKK ACTIVITIES - SUFFERED VIOLENCE E.G. BEATING, RAPE
  • LYNCHING, MURDER ON SLIGHTEST SUSPICION OF CRIME COMMITTED
  • 1925 - SCANDAL - DAVID STEPHENSON FOUND GUILTY OF KIDNAPPING, RAPE AND MURDER OF WOMAN ON CHICAGO TRAIN - LIFE INPRISONMENT
  • INFLUENCE DECREASED, MEMBERSHIP DWINDLED BUT RACISM STAYED STRONG
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Prohibition

  • DRINKING ALCOHOL PROHIBITED BY LAW IN USA IN 1920'S
    • JAN 1919 - AMENDMENT TO CONSTITUTION PASSED THAT ALL ALCOHOLIC DRINKS FORBIDDEN
    • 1920 - VOLSTEAD ACT - 0.5% ALCOHOL OR MORE - LIQUOR - FORBIDDEN
    • ANTI SALOON LEAGUE - CAMPAIGNED AGAINST ALCOHOL MANY YEARS PRE - POVERTY STRICKEN HOMES SUFFERED THROUGH ALCOHOLIC ACTIVITIES OF FATHER - BY 1914, 12 STATES DRY
    • WWI - EVILS OF ALCOHOL STRESSED - ABSENTEEISM FROM WORK - GERMAN BEER BRANDS STRESSED NOT TO BUY - PATRIOTIC
    • ORGANISATIONS AGAINST PROHIBITATION NOT AROUND UNTIL 1918 - AAPA SET UP - CLAIMED NEEDS FOR ALCOHOL FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES
    • 17 JAN 1920 - LAW CAME INTO PLACE - HUGE AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOL PURCHASED BEFORE HAND - PEOPLE WISHED TO CARRY ON DRINKING
    • LAW CAME INTO FORCE WITHOUT MAJOR PROTESTS - EXPECTED SEA OF DRUNKENESS ON LAST NIGHT OF LEGAL DRINKING EXPECTED NOT SEEN
    • THOUSANDS OF CHURCHES CAMPAIGNED FOR - 'THE DEMON DRINK' - LAW HELP CUT DOWN SOCIAL ABUSES FROM ABSENTEEISM, NEGLECT AND DRUNKENNESS
    • 2.5B DOLLARS SPENT ON ALCOHOL - THREE TIMES WHAT IS SPENT ON EDUCATION
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Groups for or against

  • PROBLEMS WITH ENFORCEMENT
    • PROHIBITION AGENTS APPOINTED - FAR TOO FEW
    • SPEAKEASIES APPEARED IN BASEMENTS OR DISGUISED AS JAZZ CLUBS
    • 30,000 SPEAKEASIES IN NY BY END OF DECADE - 200,000 IN WHOLE OF USA
    • 5,000 PEOPLE A YEAR DIED FROM DRINKING MOONSHINE
    • ALCOHOL SMUGGLED ACROSS USA/MEXICAN BORDERS - BOOTLEGGERS - CARRIED ALCOHOL IN KNEELENGTH BOOTS - SOLD IT AT HIGH PRICES
    • PROHIBITION AGENTS HOPELESSLY OUTNUMBERED - SOME WENT TO ELABORATE LENGTHS E.G. MOE SMITH WORE DISGUISES - ENTERED ILLEGAL BARS AS BUS CONDUCTORS, STUDENTS ETC. - RAIDED 3,000 SPEAKEASIES, ARRESTED 4,900 PEOPLE, CONFISCATED 3 MILLION BOTTLES OF MOONSHINE IN FIRST 5.5 YEARS OF PROHIBITION
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Organised Crime

  • GANGSTERS
    • SELLING ALCOHOL BECAME BIG BUISNESS - GANGSTERS OPERATING IN CITIES CONTROLLED MUCH OF TRADE
    • SUPPLIED BOOZE, SET UP SPEAKEASIES, RAN 'PROTECTION RACKETS' (THREATENING TO DAMAGE PROPERTY UNLESS MONEY RECIEVED TO PROTECT IT)
  • AL COPONE
    • GAINED CONTROL OF CHICAGO - BRIBING LOCAL OFFICIALS, POLITICIANS, POLICE
    • DIDN'T FEAR ARREST - OPERATED OPENLY
    • EMPLOYED UP TO 1,000 MEN IN PRIVATE ARMY
    • BUISNESS ACTIVITIES RECKONED TO BE WORTH $60M - $100M A YEAR
    • 227 MURDERS IN 4 YEARS - NO ONE ARRESTED - E.G. VALENTINES DAY MASSACRE 1929 - AL COPONES GANG DISGUISED AS POLICEMEN AND GUNNED DOWN 6 MEMBERS OF RIVAL GANG
  • END OF PROHIBITION
    • NOT WORKING - ORGANISED CRIME, SPEAKEASIES, BOOTLEGGERS, MOONSHINE
    • WALL STREET CRASH, GREAT DEPRESSION - MILLIONS UNEMPLOYED - DRINKS INDUSTRY PROVIDE JOBS FOR UNEMPLOYED
    • 1932 ELECTION - ROOSEVELT PROMISED TO REPEAL PROHIBITION LAW - 21ST AMENDMENT 1933
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Young People

  • FLAPPERS
    • 1920'S - YOUNG WOMEN GAINED FREEDOM
    • GREATER WEALTH - MORE OPPERTUNITIES FOR LEISURE
    • FASHIONS CHANGED CONDUCT OF MIDDLE CLASS GIRLS - SHOCKED PARENTS - FLAPPERS
    • CUT HAIR SHORT, SMOKED IN PUBLIC, WORE RED LIPSTICK, SHORT SKIRTS
    • STAYED OUT LATE DANCING - AGE OF FRIVOLITY - KEEN TO CAST ASIDE SOCIAL RESTRAINTS
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Problems of the Boom

  • OVERPRODUCTION
    • 1900 TO 1920 - FARMING BECAME EFFICIENT - FARMERS PRODUCING SURPLUS NO ONE WANTED
    • NEW INDUSTIES OVER PRODUCING GOODS - MANY COULDN'T AFFORD - NOT SHARING PROSPERITY
  • LACK OF CREDIT CONTROL
    • BANKS LOANED MONEY THEY DIDN'T HAVE - RELYING ON SHARE PRICES GOING UP
    • HIRE PURCHASE - PAYING BACK RELIED ON WEDGES GOING UP
  • UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH
    • FARMERS, BLACKS, MINORITY GROUPS DIDN'T SHARE PROSPERITY - EXPLOITED
    • 42% BELOW POVERTY LINE - NO NEW JOBS - INDUSTRIES MECHANISING
    • PEOPLE COULDN'T AFFORD CARS BEING PRODUCED - OVER PRODUCTION
  • TARRIFF POLICY
    • REPUBLICAN POLICY - DIDN'T INTERFERE - DID NOTHING ABOUT OVERPRODUCTION, POVERTY OR UNEMPLOYMENT
    • NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE SHARING IN BOOM TO BUY PRODUCTS BEING PRODUCED - NOT ENOUGH MONEY
    • FARMERS LOSS OF INCOME $22B TO $13B 1919-28 - LOSS OF EUROPEAN MARKET DUE TO TARRIFF BARRIERS MAKING EUROPE POORER
    • LIASSEZ-FAIRE - ENCOURAGED LACK OF CREDIT CONTROL
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The Wall Street Crash 1929

  • EVENTS
    • MARCH 1929 - HOOVER SAID 'THE POOR MAN IS VANISHING AMOUNG US'
    • JUNE 1929 - OVERPRODUCTION FELT - INDUSTRIES CUT BACK 
    • SEPT - INVESTORS BEGAN TO WORRY ABOUT PRICES - CRASH - SOLD SHARES - BANKS HELPED RESTORE STABILITY BY BUYING VAST NUMBERS OF SHARES
    • OCT 29 - 13 MILLION SHARES SOLD ON WALL STREET STOCK EXCHANGE - BANKS COULD NO LONGER INTERVENE - PRICES PLUMMETED AS NO ONE WANTED TO BUY
    • 29 OCT - INVESTORS SOLD SHARES FOR WHATEVER COULD GET
  • IMMEDIATE EFFECTS
    • BIG INVESTORS LOST UP TO $40 MILLION
    • SMALL INVESTORS HAD BURROWED MONEY FROM BANKS WITH HOMES AS SECURITY - BANKS COULD REPOSSESS HOMES - EVICT INHABITANTS
    • SOME COMMITED SUICIDE
    • OVER 100,000 COMPANIES BANKRUPT 1929-33
    • BANKS OUT OF BUISNESS - COULDN'T REPAY INVESTORS
    • UNEMPLOYMENT 12M BY 1932
    • HOOVERVILLES - HOMELESS BUILT TEMPORARY SHELTERS IN PARKS
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