Chapter 34 Web Questions

Below please find some web questions on Chapter 34 of the textbook, “An Age of Anxiety,” written by your classmate, Sheri Greenbaum. As always, please write a response of at least a paragraph for one of these questions.

1) If the United States initially came out of the Great War economically stable, how did it manage to fall into the worst economic depression history has ever seen a mere decade later?

2) The “Age of Anxiety” was also a time of new forms of thought in the modern world: artists, musicians, psychologists, and scientists developed ideas that left old beliefs behind and moved toward new, revolutionary ideas. How did such powerful human advances such as these lead to many negative consequences around the world?

3) What are the differences between socialism and fascism? Why are war communism and militarism unsuccessful strategies in creating successful forms of their respective government systems?

Painting: Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden by Otto Dix (1926)


7 Comments on “Chapter 34 Web Questions”

  1. Gulnaz Aglyamova says:

    1) There are several major events, which contributed to Great Depression. First of all, we have to understand thatl economies of different countries are constantly interacting with each other and are dependend from each other. And this time was hard for everybody because of the withdraw of money from Europe by US lenders, who decided to put their money in fast developed New York stock and by doing this, unstabled the global balance of flowing the capital. In addition, fast evolving industrial technology reduced the need in raw materials and decreased the production of such products as coal, cotton and nitrate in whole world, which led to loss of workplaces. Also, agricultural production, which was expanded in US during WWI, had a lot of competition from Europeans, who reestablished their industries during post war period, which eventually led to falling of prices, collapse of many farm businesses and again, to unemployment. This situation was at that time, where a lot of people had some money and speculated on the New York Stock Exchange, but were aware about unstability and were always at fear to loose their money because stock also changed unpredictably. Therefore, at October 1929, people were falling in panic and start to take their money back by selling, which led to falling of prices and eventually many people lost all their money at that day. More than that, this financial crisis led to collapcing of many banks, and many other people lost their money because deposits were uninsured at that time.

  2. daniel chitrik says:

    1) Although economically the U.S. was stable in the 1920s, nevertheless, there were many reasons why they fell into a depression. Starting with the fact that stocks prices fell drastically in 1929, until the inevitable Black Tuesday 2 months later. The reason why the market crashed is hotly debated, however, one of the reason that I believe that it failed is because of overproduction and inflation. In the 1920s America ostensibly appeared to be doing very well. Wages rose, and there was an increased demand for goods. This led to a thrust for greater production, which in turn created tremendous wealth for the U.S.. However, truthfully America was not really as affluent as it seems. People who had no idea what the stock market was about were gambling at very high stakes, and overproduction was forcing the value of goods to drop precipitously. European taxed the hell out of imported goods, and the gains did not always meet the expected return investors thought they were getting. Although we may have looked “good,” that may have been in relation to Europe. In reality America was on a very steep downhill ride. When people started realizing 1)the tremendous clandestine loans that governments owed each other, 2) The overproduction of good and 3) The inflation and fallible state of the stock market they tried to pull out. Subsequently, the market crash and we realized that we were deep in a mess which brought on the depression.

    • Jemima Georges says:

      I agree with all your points. The fact that Americans started out with so much considering the wealth coming from other countries to America which helped boost the economy after the Great War, they went from a state of surplus and high production to a state of surplus and low demand resulting in the greatest financial breakdown America has ever seen. Individuals that were unlucky enough to put all they had to the Stock Market were in for a rude awakening when they watched their prices plummet. This resulted in a vicious cycle of borrowing money to sell investments at any price. So, the biggest part of the problem started off with having too much with greatly decreased the need for demand while production continually increased. This is what caused the “jam” in the economy that sent a huge blow to the rest of America.

  3. Samantha Bryant says:

    Eventhough America came out of the Great War stable, it did have a long term effect on its economy. As many countries attempted to rebuild and struggled to repay their war debts, the demand for consumer goods decrease which then lead to overproduction in many industries. The great depression was not only felt in the U.S. it was felt worldwide. It did not only affected the rich it also affected the poor. The stock market crash on October 29 1929 which we know today as Black Tuesday was one of the major causes of the great depression, people loss all their investments and loss there confidence in the economy. Few years before the stock market collapse, Americans investing heavily in the stock market, they would even take out loans from banks to acquire more stocks. This lead to bank failures durning the Great Depression people were not able to repay their loans and during this time bank deposits were uninsured so when a bank failed/closed individuals savings were simply wiped out. This lead to a state of panic among the citizen which then lead to a reduce in purchases while industries overproduced. This chain effect now caused a increase in unemployment, a decrease in demand as factories produce more than people could afford to buy, and the closure of many businesses. Deflation and the implementation of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, which raised tariff on thousands of foreign goods and essentially forcing Americans to only purchase domestic goods, lead to a decrease in U.S. exports and a decrease in it gross domestic product. This also lead to less trade between U.S. and other countries. I believe although United States came out of the Great War stable, I do believe that this was a catalyst for the Great Depression.

  4. Mary Fahmy says:

    The major reason behind the downfall of the economy of the United States after great prosperity following the Great War was the unequal distribution of wealth. The gap between the upper class and the lower class grew to such an extent that the middle class was virtually non-existent. Although wages were increasing for the majority of workers, the cost of living was also increasing and proper measures were not taken to make up for this. Inventories increased and agricultural income remained low. There were increased manufacturing and agricultural output, but wages that did not keep pace for the consumers to purchase all that was produced or grown.
    The over speculation in the Stock Market was not regulated and that also lead to the eventual depression. A new trend called margin buying took hold, in which Americans bought stock on credit.
    Another major cause was the “Buying on credit”, known in the 1920s as installment buying. People purchased things like refrigerators on time, and did not have money to pay for the product in the future, when the bills became due.
    Also Banks were permitted to speculate in land and the stock market with little government regulations, and finally the Stock Market Crash of 1929 signaled the beginning of the Great Depression.

  5. Mary Fahmy says:

    socialism is a theory that mean all kind of production, distribution and exchange should be shared as a community as a whole. fascism is a governmental system that is controlled by a dictator having full power. Militarism is an unsuccessful strategy to the government system because it does not just cause destruction to houses and the landscape of the country, but kills people and uses’s their money on weaponry. People pay taxes without choosing where the money is going to be spent. And mostly, people do not support war. Communism is also bad because it makes everyone equal. People would get lazy and and depend on the success of others knowing that they will be all equal at the end. This will affect for the government because there will be no competition and all busnisses will just be the same.

  6. Dinghua Zeng says:

    As scientific keep developing now, most of new technologies are beneficial of our lives in some ways. But some new technology did bring more negative consequences in human society. Close to the end of World War II, the United States used two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. After the first two to four months of the bombings, the effects killed 90,000-166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000-80,000 in Nagasaki. Large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians (wiki resource). Two atomic bombs killed more than at least 150,000 people in Japan. More surrenders were suffered the long term pain in physical and psychological. The two cities remain radiation… In the modern world, we all enjoying the benefit from advance technology, we probably have forget the side impact. Actually, we are facing more problem that scientist development, such as pollution, disease, human cloning.

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