Segments in this Video

An Overview Of The Roaring Twenties (05:41)


The 1920s was a time of great change and excitement in America. The economy was booming, and many people could buy cars and other new gadgets. There was also a lot of excitement about the stock market, and many people invested in it.

Stock Market: Seeking Prosperity (04:38)

Americans became fascinated with stock exchange dabbling, which caused stock prices to multiply by four in five years. This created an illusion of easy money and caused people to become addicted to the stock market. John Jakob Raskob encouraged people to keep investing, and the economy seemed safe and guaranteed. This led to the Great Crash of 1929.

Wall Street Capitalism (02:41)

In the 1920s, many people invested in the stock market, especially because it was easy to borrow money to do so. The stock market was doing well until it crashed in 1929.

The Market Goes Crazy (04:18)

The market was going crazy because people were being encouraged in their confidence by the nation's financial leaders, who were saying that everything was fine. A small group of people with inside information bought stocks in a company, artificially inflated the prices, and then quickly sold their stocks so they could make a profit. Ordinary people who had been encouraged to buy the same stock were left with the losing.

Market Crash Signs (01:52)

There were signs before the market crash that the economy was starting to go down again. The high level of stock prices, investment trusts, and margin borrowing were all signs that there was trouble to come. The bubble burst in October of 1929.

Stock Market Collapses (03:53)

The stock market crashed in 1929 because people panicked after realizing that their assumption that prices would only go up was wrong. The market was overvalued and could not handle all the trades that were being made, which caused it to fall rapidly.

Exaggerated Legends (02:30)

The wildest rumors were going around. 11 speculators were said to have committed suicide. It is alleged that the manager of the Ritz required customers to pay for their room in advance, asking them if they wanted a room to spend the night or to jump. There were indeed some suicides, but not as many as reported.

Official Reaction to Market Crash (05:33)

The reaction to the stock market crash of 1929 was one of shock, disbelief, and hubris. Officials tried to assure people that everything was all right, but the market did not recover. It signaled the beginning of the Great Depression, which was characterized by high unemployment, low production, and deflation.

Financial Crisis Of 1929 (03:14)

The banking system collapsed in 1929, leading to a financial crisis and a downward spiral in the economy.

Middle Class Hit Hardest by Depression (03:48)

The middle class were hardest hit by the Great Depression. President Hoover was terrible at his job because he did not have an understanding of the underlying causes and by trying quick fixes, he made the depression worse.

The Downward Spiral Impacts World (03:55)

The Depression was not just a purely American phenomenon. It spread to Europe, where it had a devastating effect on the German economy.

The Spiral of Recession (05:41)

In the early 1930s, the United States entered a severe economic recession that lasted for several years. Many people were unemployed, and those who could find work often had to take low-paying jobs. Soup kitchens were set up to provide food for the hungry, and marches were held to protest the lack of government assistance.

Depression Leads to Homelessness (04:28)

People were evicted from their homes and had to live in makeshift huts or in Central Park. These makeshift communities were called Hoovervilles.

Credits (00:24)


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hursday, October 24: the Wall Street Stock Exchange crashes, the greatest economic crisis of the 20th century suddenly breaks out. Fuelled by frenetic speculation, and by the idea that everyone can get rich without limits, it puts a final stop to the euphoria of the 1920s. America is then caught in a devastating cycle which spreads around the world a few months later like a malign infection. Calling on renowned historians and economists, such as Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize for Economics), Daniel Cohen or Howard Zinn, William Karel conducts an incredibly detailed analysis of the economic and financial mechanisms that lead to the crash of Wall Street and then to the Great Depression of the 1930's. Through moving pictures, for the most part unseen before, this documentary shows the tragic distress of America doubting its founding values, the suffering of a ravaged society: suicide of brokers, thousands of homeless in the streets of New York City, mass unemployment, strikes, political extremism,... It reveals how the world's leading economy sinks into mass depression, allowing Hitler to rise to power, and how eventually Franklin D. Roosevelt brings hope and optimism back into the hearts of his people.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: FPT239535

ISBN: 978-1-63722-397-0

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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