The Wall Street Crash
- 12.8 million shares sold on New York Stock Exchange
- By end of day, value of shares on stock exchange had falled by almost $4 billion
- Following week, record of 16 million shares changed hands at v. low prices
- End of November, $30 billion wiped off share values
- Began biggest economic depression in US + world history
- Low tax policies = by 1929, richest owned 33% of nation's welath while bottom 40% of population owned 12.5%. US economy lacked spending power to buy all goods produced.
- Belief that USA had entered new era of continued economic growth meant corporations built more factories to provide goods for seemingly ever-expanding market. By late 1920s, economy had reached full capacity in terms of what domestic market for goods could consume.
- Fordney-McCumber Tariff 1922 limited US trade with world economy - in retaliation foreign countries introduced own tariffs.
- Much of European market affected by aftermath of war e.g. Germany had to pay reparations to Allied powers. Potential markets lost by creation of communist state in Russia = resultig tensions between USSR + capitalist world limited trade.
- 1920-29, US manufacturing capacity rose 50% while US exports rose bby only 38%.
2. Land Speculation
- Prelude to crash had occurred in 1926 with land speculation centred on Florida. Many saw 1920s as period of unrivalled prosperity +…