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The Great Depression
Date Started October 29, 1929
Date Ended Late 1930s/Middle 1940s
Cause Stock Market Crash

The Great Depression destroyed the economy of North American and European industrialized areas. It started six months prior when the economy started to fall into depression, however most people identify the beginning of The Great Depression on October 29th, 1929, when the Stock Market heavily crashed.[1]

The Great Depression

In October, when the Stock Market crashed, it wiped out 40% of the value of a common stock paper. As the depression continued, many lost their life savings and by 1933, the stock market was one-fifth the value it was before the crash in 1929. Many businesses went bankrupt, and over half the banks in the United States failed and had to close. Income fell roughly 50 percent in farming. By 1932, more than 25% of all United States citizens were unemployed.

The Great Depression happened because during and after World War II, there were many breakthroughs in productive techniques, which in turn raised the overall output beyond what the United States was buying. This meant that there too much industrial freight being created, and not enough buyers to buy it. This dramatically increased the wealth of the middle and upper class at first, however, many speculated that this would later turn sour, and they would either build more shops to buy freight, export more, or a combination of both. This speculation made people put a great deal of their money into certain companies that would most likely expand to receive more freight, and as a result, everyone speculated people who put their stocks in those companies could nearly double their original money. Then, the Stock Market crashed. This made nearly everyone lose a lot of their hard earned money that they put into stocks.

The presidential election of 1932 was mostly a debate over who and what caused and was to blame for the Great Depression. President Hoover entered The White House only eight months before the Stock Market crash, and even though he tried, he was overwhelmingly unsuccessful in trying to fix these errors and make the economic United States stable again. His opponent in the election was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was already a crowd favorite as he was the governor of New York during the economic crisis. He argued that the Great Depression was caused because of small flaws in our economy. Hoover, after hearing this, reassured everyone that the economy has sound policies, and that there were no flaws. Hoover depended on natural recovery, while F. D. Roosevelt was ready to use the federal government to help rebuild the fallen America.

The election resulted in F. D. Roosevelt in becoming the next president, with him winning 22,8000,000 votes to Hoover's 15,700,000 votes. The United States was about to start recovering after this terrible crisis. [2]

How does this affect Of Mice and Men?

This affects Of Mice and Men because many people at the time the story took place didn't have jobs, and they had to take the initiative to go out in the world to find jobs. Many people moved from city to city in search of a job, and if they found one, they would stay there temporarily, until they were fired, quit, or the job went out of business. Then, they would pack up and move to the next town in search of a job. George and Lennie were two of these people, then roamed the nation in search of jobs, and they traveled a lot with each other in the process of doing so. Jobs were extremely scarce, and you were lucky to find an open job, let alone two. This made finding a job extremely difficult for George and Lennie to find jobs together.