One of the major effects of the great depression was the breakdown of the economy. A few years prior to the developments that led to the great depression, the economy was doing a good job providing jobs to the people and giving them the right amount of purchasing power to buy the things that they need and want. The breakdown of the economy led to a lot of secondary effects. For one, the economic breakdown led to the closing of a lot of businesses and the consequent loss of a lot of people’s jobs.
The loss of the people’s jobs or what they call unemployment in economics led to another wave or series of negative effects such as their inability to pay rent and buy goods that they need. To emphasize the overall effects of the ripple that the economic breakdown created, what it did was it led to the loss of the ordinary citizens’ purchasing power. This proved to be one of the major causes of the worsening of the effects of the Great Depression. Jobs were basically generated because of the presence of the businesses and if businesses were strong, the more likely they are to provide jobs. Unfortunately, during that time, the businesses were not so strong. In fact, they were so fragile and brittle that a lot of ordinary citizens lost their jobs, and because of the considerably lowered purchasing power, a lot of businesses suffered—because the ordinary people did not have the means to make purchases from businesses , which in turn contributed more to the vicious cycle that put the world’s largest economy into a deep state of depression. Even the middle class and the elite citizens got affected by the widespread economic events that happened during the great depression primarily because of the fact that their income also depended on the income of their businesses and unfortunately during that time, businesses were not doing good and as a result, their income also dwindled. In general, however, it is the ordinary citizens who relied heavily on the income they get from their jobs who got more affected than the elite and middle class people. It took a lot of years before the economy recovered so this also means to say that the people who lost their jobs were forced to live within their means which as mentioned earlier got severely limited because of the loss of their jobs. The government did not really do much to intervene and alleviate the people’s suffering. At best, what the government did was they only allowed the natural cycle of economics take place. While this may be the fundamentally correct decision to choose—to let the economy fall down so low so that it would have nowhere to go but up, its effects on the ordinary citizens were drastic.
The Second World War, on the other hand, was another story, it affected the lives of almost anyone, be it an ordinary or an elite citizen. Of course, people who somehow had more connections with key and influential people in the government during that time had a set of advantages that ordinary citizens did not have. War crimes which often focused on the violation of human rights were often committed during the World War II era. This explains why a lot of war criminals have been convicted during the post-war hearings held in a number of countries that led the aggression. In the Japanese Empire’s case, for example, there were a lot of war criminals who got convicted of raping women of the territories they held during the war, among other kinds of human rights violation. Politically, the end of World War II marked another era—an era of tension between the leading superpowers, who in this case was the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies. The political tensions were basically caused by the fact that their ideologies and preferred political policies were different and often in contrast. The Soviet Union, for example, favored the implementation and spread of communism while the United States and its allies, on the other hand, were spearheading the spread of democracy. The difference in these two groups’ political ideologies led to clashes of ideas and then later on to the cold war, which, fortunately, only led to a series of proxy wars instead of full-blown ones. The Second World War also had significant economic complications. For one, it sent Germany’s economy into a major depression, thanks to the runaway inflation that was caused by the country’s inability to support the expenses it incurred during the war. Germany, as one can recall, was the dominant power in the Axis Powers alongside Japan, Italy, among other Axis Power countries. They manufactured thousands of planes, tanks, and huge volumes of weapons and ammunitions during that war. It was the economy that suffered because basically, Germany’s relatively small economy during that time was unable to support the pace of war commodity sales and purchases the government was dictating.
In summary, the effects of both the Second World War and the Great Depression were mostly negative. The effects of the former, however, were more widespread compared to the latter because it entailed political, economic, and social effects while the Great Depression only led to mostly negative economic effects.
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LaRossa, R. n.d. World War II in People’s Lives. NCFR.
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