The Great Depression began as a result of the Wall Street Crash in 1929. It came after one of the most significant booms in American history. Millions of people invested in the stock market which meant banks had to lend to millions of investors and the stock market continued to rocket upwards. This continued surge in the stock market meant people wanted to invest even more, placing even more strain on the banks to meet the investors’ demands.
However, on October 24th 1929 the bubble burst when over 12 million shares were traded in a day. People panicked when they noted all the selling of shares and so they tried to cash in their shares. Over 30 million shares were traded and many investors became bankrupt. Because banks had lent out lots of money to investors, many went broke. Globally 10,000 banks collapsed.
The years prior to the Great Depression were very decadent and are often referred to as the Jazz Age. They were marked by enormous wealth in some sections of society. The Great Gatsby and other literature by F Scott Fitzgerald depicts the heady decadence of this era. Books such as Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck detail the Great Depression which followed the Wall Street Crash.