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MeganKirk

ResearchPaper
February24,2015
WhatiftheGreatDepressionNeverHappenedintheUnitedStates?

WouldtheUnitedStateseconomybethesameiftheGreatDepressionneverhappened?
WouldtheUScitizenshaveallthebenefitsandinsurancethattheyhavetoday?WouldtheUS
economyhavethesamestructuresthatithastoday?IftheGreatDepressionneverhappenedin
theUnitedStates,theeconomywouldntbethesameasitistoday.
IftheUnitedStatesdidnthavetheGreatDepression,thefirstthingthatwouldbe
differentisthemainbenefitandinsurancewelfareprogramthattheUShastoday.OnAugust14,
1935,presidentFranklinD.RooseveltsignedtheSocialSecurityAct.Thisactguaranteed
millionsofAmericanswithpensionsandsetupasystemofunemploymentinsurancetocitizens,
mostlythosewhocouldntcareforthemselvesincludingthedisabledanddependentchildren.
ThegoalofthisactwastohelpsupportpeoplewhocouldntsupportthemselvesduringtheGreat
Depression.SocialSecurityisstillintheUStodayandhashelpedpeopleinmanyways,butit
hasalsoputus18trilliondollarsindebt.
AnotherthingthatwouldbedifferentiftheGreatDepressionneverhappenedisthe
establishmentofafewbillsacts,andlaws.Oneactthatendedduringthedepressionwasthe
ProhibitionAct.Thisactprohibitedintoxicatedbeveragesandtoregulatetheproduction,
manufacturing,anduseofthebeverages.ThisactwasendedonDecember5,1933inhopethatit
wouldhelpstimulatetheeconomy.OneactthatwassignedintolawonMay18,1933wasthe

TennesseeValleyAct.ThisactalloweddamstobebuiltontheTennesseeRiverproducing
hydroelectricenergyatalowercostandtopreventflooding.Onebillsignedintolawin1933by
CongressistheFarmBill.TheFarmBillallowedcommodityfarmers,
toleavetheircropsbut
stillreceivepayment.Thegovernmentwouldhelpsupportfarmerswiththisactwhencrops
wouldntgrow.WhentheGreatDepressionsenttheUSintoapanic,presidentRooseveltcreated
anewdealtotrytoendthedepression,andmanyoftheseacts,laws,andbillswerepartofit.
Finally,iftheGreatDepressionneverhappenedintheUS,manythingsinAMerica
wouldntbebuilt.Duringthedepression,FDRcreatedWorksProgressAdministrationwhich
providedjobsforunemployed.Theunemployedwouldfocusonbuildingpostoffices,bridges,
schools,highwaysandparkshopingtostimulatetheeconomyagain.Afewofthemorewell
knownstructuresbuiltareRedRocksAmphitheater,LaGuardiaAirport,theTimberlineLodgein
Oregon,andtheSanAntonioRiverwalk.WPAalsobuiltorimproved651,000milesofroadand
19,700milesofwatermains.Boththeroadsandwatermainsareidealwaysoftransportation.
WPAalsobuilt226hospitalsandmorethan5,900schools.Havingtheseroads,watermains,
schoolsandhospitalsbuiltmaynotseemlikeabigdealnow,butwithoutthesealreadybeing
builtitwouldbehardforpeopletogetaround,learn,andgetmedicalhelp.
WhentheGreatDepressionstrucktheUSin1929,itsentmanypeopleintoapanic.
Manywereoutofjobsandlowonmoney.PresidentFranklinD.Rooseveltactedbycreating
SocialSecurity,otheractsandlaws,andbycreatingaprogramthathadunemployedAmericans
buildstructuresaroundtheUnitedStates.Withouttheseacts,theUSeconomywouldntbethe
sameasitistoday.

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