Making of Modern America

  1. One of the major causes of the Great Depression was the stock market crash of 1929. It was on a Tuesday when the market plunged at the opening bell, causing people to panic. Remembered as “Black Tuesday,” the market lost 12% of its values and suffered $14 billion of investments on that single day. Two months later, stockholders lost more than $4o billion, leading to an economic crisis (Kelly, 2020).

The second cause was bank failures. Due to the market crash, it failed towards the end of 1929 year, and following the year 1930, over 3,000 banks had collapsed. This led to panic as people ran to withdraw their investments, causing more banks to collapse, and by the end of one decade, nearly 9,000 banks had collapsed (Kelly, 2020).

The third cause is the reduction in purchases across the board. With diminished investments, employees were laid off a significant percentage of losing their jobs. Unsold inventories in companies increased, and the employment rate also increased to above 25% (Kelly, 2020). This, altogether, led to less spending, and hence, deterioration of the economy.

Another cause is the American Economic Policy on trade with Europe. As a result of the Depression’s tightening, the U.S government imposed a Tariff Act of 1930 known as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which imposed tax rates on imported goods. Consequently, the world trade between the U.S and other countries fell by two thirds, which also contributed to a more intense Great Depression.

free essay typer



  • President FDR New Deal sought to address the Great Depression in three ways, as Colasanti & Ference (n.d.) explain. One of them is a relief. The relief was aimed at providing help to those who were suffering and the unemployed. An example is the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) that FDR created to provide jobs to the unemployed such as building roads, airports, hospitals, etc. also, the Social Security Act provided finances to older people.

The second way is through the recovery of the economy. The president created Acts that would see the economy bouncing back from the Depression. They include; Agricultural Adjustment Act and the National Industrial Recovery Act.

Thirdly, the New Deal contained the reforms to target the causes of the Depression and prevent them from occurring later in the future. Examples of the reforms included; FDIC & Bank Reform, which aimed at solving the bank crisis through the Federal Reserve’s help. Secondly, SEC- Stock Market Reform to regulate the stock market and Wall Street.

  • (1) The arms intensified the Cold War tension due to competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. The competition began when the explosion of atomic bombs over Japan by the U.S was successful. When the Soviet Union saw that, it also started its own bomb explosion, each side, U.S and the Soviets, were competing to see who could make bigger bombs (Wolfe, 2012). As a result, the cold war was made intense.

(2) America and the Soviet Union had different political ideologies. America was a capitalist where every citizen had the right to freedom, vote, and speech. In contrast, the Soviet Union was a communist country where citizens were not allowed ownership of property or rights. As the two countries competed to be superpowers, the U.S was fighting for a free world and the Soviet for a communist world. As a result, cold war tensions increased.

(3) The cold war tension led to positive reform in the security concerns. America had to invest more in defense by creating bombs and enhancing security. This created a culture of more innovation on security that the country has. Also, as a result of this, it reduced spending on organizations like education and shifted its attention to science. The main reason was that the U.S feared being called a communist nation. Also, consequently, because of fear, discrimination was reduced.

  • The Civil Rights Movement brought with it legislation and social changes. The first change was recorded in the education sector. The passing of the Public Law 94-142 legislation was made possible by the movement. The main aim of the Act was to give individuals with disabilities the right to education. Another change regarding education was the Bilingual Education Act, passed in 1968 by congress. This Act was passed to allow education programs for non-English speaking children.

The second change as a result of the Civil Rights Movement was a change in the economic sector. Through the rise of the movement, each individual’s call to attain full employment regardless of color was one of the missions. The economy was changed in that every person who sought employment could secure a job. The wife of Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, took this initiative after the death of Martin King. She joined other activists. In the end, the landmark 1978 Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act was passed (Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, 2017). The Act aimed at maximizing employment opportunities for each citizen.



Colasanti, K., & Ference, E. (n.d.). The New Deal & the 3 R’s. Retrieved from–the-3-rs.html

Kelly, M. (2020, March 26). The Great Depression and its causes. Retrieved from

Pedro Nicolaci da Costa. (2017, July 11). Martin Luther King Jr. had an economic dream — and it changed the Federal Reserve forever. Retrieved from

Wolfe, A. J. (2012). Competing with the soviets: Science, technology, and the state in cold war America. JHU Press.