The Story: Historical Overview

The Great Depression and the New Deal

In the years following World War I (1914-1917), the United States enjoyed an economic boom. The 1920s, a decade often referred to as "the Jazz Age," saw remarkable artistic, musical, and literary production. It was also a time of great wealth for many Americans. On Wall Street, the stock market soared. Americans were buying stocks on credit, believing that stock prices would continue to rise, and that they could pay off their debt with the profits they would earn.

In October of 1929, however, the stock market took a turn for the worse. Stock prices had been falling slowly since September of that year, but few could have predicted the crash that would begin on Wednesday, October 23, 1929. Prices took a dive, and the next day people rushed to sell off their stocks. The market began to bottom, and that day has come to be called "Black Thursday."

Citing this Page in MLA Format

"Historical Overview." Tobacco Bag Stringing. 2006. University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. date accessed <>.