The Great Depression

Historical Topics Covered:

The Business Cycle
Margin Lending
Government Inflation of Money Supply
Interest Rates
Herbert Hoover’s Programs
Disintegration of the World Economy
Smoot – Hawley Tariff
The New Deal
The Gold Standard
National Recovery Administration (NRA)
Works Progress Administration (WPA)
The Wagner Act

Questions to Ponder and Discuss:

  1. Why did the Depression of 1920-1921 last one and a half years but the Great Depression last over 10 years?
  2. Describe the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy before and after 1928.
  3. What role did credit expansion and contraction play in the Great Depression?
  4. How did central bank policy concerning the money supply affect the economy before and after 1928?
  5. Did buying stocks on margin play a large part in the stock market crash of 1929?
  6. What effect did the Smoot-Hawley Tariff have on global trade and the Great Depression?
  7. Did raising income taxes shorten the Great Depression?
  8. Did President Hoover’s programs prevent or shorten the Great Depression?
  9. Did government employment programs shorten the Great Depression?
  10. What effect did the Wagner Act have on the Great Depression?
  11. Why did President Roosevelt eliminate the gold standard?

Additional Reading:

The Forgotten Depression of 1920, Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
http://mises.org/daily/3788
The Depression You’ve Never Heard Of: 1920-1921, Robert P. Murphy
http://www.thefreemanonline.org/features/the-depression-youve-never-heard-of-1920-1921/

 

Great Myths of the Great Depression, Lawrence W. Reed
http://www.fee.org/articles/great-myths-of-the-great-depression/

 

America’s Great Depression, Murray N. Rothbard
http://library.mises.org/books/Murray%20N%20Rothbard/Americas%20Great%20Depression.pdf

 

The Great Depression, Hans F. Sennholz
http://mises.org/daily/3515/

 

Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, Murray N. Rothbard
http://mises.org/daily/3127

 

Fresh Debate About FDR’s New Deal, Jim Powell
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/fresh-debate-about-fdrs-new-deal

 

Did the Gold Standard Cause the Great Depression?, Mark Skousen
http://www.thefreemanonline.org/features/did-the-gold-standard-cause-the-great-depression/

 

A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 4, Clarence B. Carson
A Basic History of the United States, Volume 4: The Growth of America, 1878-1928

 

A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 5, Clarence B. Carson
The Welfare State 1929-1985 (A Basic History of the United States)