Have you ever been depressed? When one thinks of The Great Depression, they would think of millions of people depressed. In fact, according to the MacMillan Dictionary, The Great Depression was a period marked by a severe reduction in business activity, rise in unemployment and falling wages and prices that lasted from 1929 to 1939. The K.H.S. history book by McDougal Littell agrees with this definition of the Great Depression by stating that there were countless causes to this great event that grasped the entire world.
WWI took its toll on the American citizens with war debts and manual labor. John F. Wukovits writes, "People wanted to forget the suffering and devastation of WWI and return to a normal life. Part of that desire manifested itself in people buying stocks to get rich quick". Even ten years before the depression, its clutches commenced to take over the American society. But probably the most crucial cause of the Great Depression was the substantial unequal distribution of wealth. Only a tiny percentage of the American population controlled the wealth. Prominent businessmen repeatedly borrowed money to purchase more stocks with the intention of paying back the loan from the profits of the stock they bought. Between August and September, 1929, almost 1.1 billion transactions were made. Now known as "Black Thursday" the stock market took a downward trend. Then on Black Thursday, almost a week later, the bottom fell out of the stock market. By November, $30 billion had been lost. This was more than the U.S. had spent on WWI and almost twice the amount of the national debt. David K. Fremon writes the confusion and panic of the American citizens with this statement, "For many investors, October 29, 1929 was the worst day of their lives. But for many, it was the last day of their lives. Speculators, businessmen who buy stocks and bonds on chance of a quick profit while ignoring risks, crawled onto ledges of their skyscraper buildings, then leaped to their death on the streets below.