Battle of Gettysburg
The battle of Gettysburg took place in Pennsylvania from 1st July to 3rd July 1863. It is considered as the largest battle that took place during Civil War in America. It is also the largest battle that has ever been fought in the Northern America. The battle involved about 85,000 men in the Army Union of Potomac that was under General George Gordon Meade. They were fighting against around 75,000 troops of the Army of the Confederation of Northern Virginia under General Robert Edward Lee.
The total number of casualties from the battle of Gettysburg totaled to 23,049 on the Union’s side. 3,155 died, 14,529 were wounded and 5,365 went missing. In the confederate side there were 28,063 casualties. 3,903 died, 18,735 were injured and 5,425 went missing. Over one third of the Army from the confederate army led by Lee died.
The huge irreplaceable losses that the largest army in the south suffered combined with the surrender of Vicksburg surrender of the confederate army in Mississippi on 4th July marked what is considered by most historian as the turning point of the American Civil War. However, conflict continued for almost two years and several other battles were witnessed later including Spotsylvania, Chickamauga, Nashville and Mononacy among others.
Following his success in Chancellorsville in May 1963 in Virginia, Lee led the army via Shenandoah Valley to start his second invasion in the North. This was known as the Gettysburg campaign. Lee had a high spirited army and he intended to shift focus of summer campaign from North Virginia that was ravaged by war to influencing politicians in the North to give up war prosecution by penetrating Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and even Philadelphia. General Joseph Hooker was prodded by Abraham Lincoln, the president to move his troops but Meade replaced him just three days to the battle.
The first collision was on 1st July 1863 at Gettysburg after which Lee concentrated his army there urgently. His aim was to engage the army of the Union destroying it completely. The Calvary division of the Union defeated low ridges in the northwestern side of the town. These reinforced the Union Infantry afterwards. However, confederate corps attached them in the North and northwestern side which led to the collapse of the Union lines that were developed hastily. This sent the defending group retreating via the streets in the town towards the hills towards the south.
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Vital capacity is a phrase that is used to define the maximum amount of air that an individual is capable of expelling from his or her lungs after maximum inhalation. This capacity is equivalent to the sum of inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume and the tidal volume. In order to measure a person’s vital capacity, a regular or wt spirometer can be used. The main reason why it is always important to measure a person’s vital capacity is to assist in determining whether he or she may be suffering from an underlying lung disease.
Irrespective of an individual, it should be noted that the normal vital capacity of an adult should be between 3 to 5L. However, there are slight variations that can be experienced in the vital capacity of each individual. This is usually based on sex, height, weight, age and even ethnicity. A person who has a low vital capacity is usually as a result of obesity, disability or even a chronic respiratory disease. In such people, the vital capacity can be increased.
The most ideal avenue towards increasing vital capacity is through exercise. The reason why performing workouts is an ideal way of increasing vital capacity is because since the muscles require additional nutrients in the process of exercise, the lungs will take in more oxygen. Besides, they will need to expand further in order to take in extra oxygen compared to when the body is at rest. When exercises are conducted consistently, a person is also able to enhance the overall health of their lungs. However, it should be noted that there are specific exercises that a person should indulge in so as to enhance their vital capacity.
It is advisable that when one is looking towards increasing their vital capacity, they need to indulge in exercises that require the lungs to take in more oxygen. Some of the recommended exercises include counted breathing, underwater workouts, cardiovascular exercises, high elevation workouts, playing a wind instrument among others. Indulging in such exercises daily can be useful in increasing the lung capacity over a period of time. Exercising the lungs enables them to get inflated and maintain the vital capacity. Thus, we will also be able to maintain our oxygen levels.
Each person should always aspire to acquire larger vital capacities in order to keep oxygen levels at a position where they are available to the brain and the entire body. There are several health conditions that one can be exposed to when we fail to keep our lungs open like pneumonia. In fact, this can also hinder the lungs from being properly inflated such that certain areas may tend to collapse or faced with a condition known as micro-atelectasis.
Vital capacity can significantly increase with the height of a person and decrease as age advances. Smoking is one of the main causes of decrease in vital capacity. In fact, studies indicate that females who begin smoking at adolescent are more likely to develop low vital capacity compared to their male counterparts.
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Vital capacity is simply defined as the maximum amount of air that an individual is able to expel from the lungs after a maximum intake of air. It is equivalent to the sum of inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume and tidal volume. Vital capacity can be based upon so many factors, thus, it is in order to say that there are various factors that can affect vital capacity. Vital capacity can be affected by anything that hinders the lungs from being able to expand to their full capacity, or blocks up the air tract or lungs.
One of the factors that can be said to have an impact on vital capacity is genetics. People are born different with body feature are not similar in quite a number of ways. In the same way, you can find that the rib cage varies from one person to another; some are large in size while others are narrow. However, it should be noted that the bigger an individual’s rib cage is, the greater the ability of lungs to expand.
There is also another factor that can prevent the ability of lungs to fully expand; injured or weak diaphragm. When one has got an injury in the diaphragm, it becomes painful to stretch the ribs, thereby inhibiting the ability of lungs to expand to their full size. People with conditions like pleuresia, tension pneumothorax or even wounds in the chest can be faced with this problem. Besides, putting on constrictive clothing can also prevent the ribs from being able to stretch fully. A weak diaphragm can also be as a result of aging due to diminishing elasticity.
When your diaphragm is weak, it means that the respiratory muscles do not have the power to contract and relax. It should be noted that the stronger the respiratory muscles, the more the vital capacity.
There are also other factors that can affect the vital capacity like accumulation of substances like tar as a result of smoking, inhaled particulate matter in the lungs, infections like colds or pneumonia, health conditions like cystic fibrosis and emphysema, body fluids filling the lungs as a result of leaking blood vessels and even growths like tumors. Whenever such accumulate in the lungs, it becomes difficult for the ribs to stretch freely. In fact, even breathing becomes a problem to people with conditions like the ones highlighted above. Other serious diseases that can also hinder vital capacity include asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, pulmonary edema among others.
Apart from the above mentioned, there are other additional factors that can also affect the vital capacity like age, sex, body mass, abdominal tumors, bone deformities, weight among others. In order for one to be safe from experiencing complications or conditions that are related to vital capacity, it is advisable that you often see a doctor to measure yours. In case there is an early detection of a problem, it can be easier and quick to get the required help.
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The procession of chemical reactions is something that one cannot merely guess or try to figure out literally. It is very important that before you begin any process of chemical reaction, you should know the results and agents of those results. There are several factors that affect reaction rates that you should be knowledgeable on when planning to conduct any. Among the most common ones include temperature, concentration, phase and surface area, catalyst among several others.
By increasing the temperature of a system, the average kinetic energy of its constituent particles is also increased. And when this happens, the particles are able to move much faster such that they collide more frequently per unit time. Besides, the particles also possess greater energy in the process of collision. As a result of all these actions, the rate of the reactions is significantly increased as the temperature also rises. It should be noted that in the event that the temperature is decreased, the rate of reaction also falls.
When two reactants are in a similar fluid phase, the particles of the two collide more frequently compared to when they one or both of them are in solid state, or even inside two different fluids that do not mix. If the reactants are uniformly dispersed in one homogenous solution, the number of collisions per unit time depends on temperature and concentration. In case the reaction is heterogeneous, the reactants are in two different phases, and collisions between them can occur only at interfaces between the phases. The rate of reaction of heterogeneous reaction depends on the surface area of the more condensed phase.
A catalyst is a substance that takes part in a chemical reaction and heightens the reaction rate without going through a net chemical change itself. For instance, consider the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide in the presence, and absence of different catalysts. Since most catalysts are highly selective, they often determine the product of a reaction by accelerating only one of several possible reactions that could take place. Most of the bulk chemicals produced in industry is formed with catalyzed reactions. Recent estimates show that about 30% of the gross national product of the United States and other developed nations relies on the use of catalysts either directly or indirectly.
With regards to concentration and pressure as factors affecting reaction rates, it should be noted that if either of the factors (concentration and pressure) of a chemical increases, there will be more particles within a given space. Thus, collision of the particles will occur more often. As concentration or pressures rises, the rate of reaction also moves towards the same direction.
The rate of a chemical reaction can also be affected by the nature of the solvent. For example, a sodium acetate solution reacts with methyl iodide in an exchange reaction to give methyl acetate and sodium iodide. The viscosity of the solvent is yet another factor that can also determine the reaction rates. Dissolved particles are able to diffuse much slowly in highly viscous solvents compared to those that are less viscous.
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The rate of photosynthesis is defined as how fast or slow the process of photosynthesis takes place. This can be measured through the amount of glucose that is produced by a plant over a given period of time. This is an area that is of great concern to farmers as well as scientists. To farmers, understanding the factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis can assist in determining ways on how to increase the rate of photosynthesis for bountiful crop yields.
There are various factors that can affect the rate of photosynthesis like light intensity, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration.
With regards to light, it is important to note that the rate of photosynthesis increases with the increase of light intensity or when the light gets brighter. Many plants spread out their leaves in a way such that each maximizes the amount of light that is falling on them; the lower leaves are not shaded by the ones above. However, too much light supplied at high intensity can significantly damage chloroplasts. There are also certain woodland plants that synthesize more efficiently in dimly lit areas, these are called shade plants.
The higher the temperature; the greater the rate of photosynthesis. One important thing that should be noted is that photosynthesis is a chemical reaction and the rates of most chemical reactions are heightened by temperature. However, in the case of photosynthesis, the rate of the reaction slows down at temperatures above 40 Degrees Celsius. The reason for this is because the enzymes that are involved in the chemical reactions of photosynthesis are temperature sensitive and destroyed at higher temperatures. The effect of temperature on photosynthesis can be compared to that in enzymes. When the enzymes are exposed to very high temperatures, they breakdown and are distorted. If the temperature is so low, the enzymes move around so slowly for a reaction to take place.
Carbon dioxide plays a role in the manufacture of sugar in the process of photosynthesis. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the earth varies from 0.03% to around 0.04%. In case there is an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide, the rate of photosynthesis reaction will also be increased. In the open air, it can be challenging to undertake the experiment. However, it can be successfully conducted inside a greenhouse. In fact, quite a number of crops like tomatoes and even lettuce often produce higher yields when grown in greenhouses. Farmers often add additional carbon dioxide into the greenhouse so as to increase the concentration as well as the rate of photosynthesis of the crops. Due to the increased yields that farmers can get from the procedure, the additional cost of carbon dioxide is always not an issue.
The use of carbon dioxide in raising plants has been by several farmers today. Instead of pumping the waste gas into the atmosphere where it is a pollutant, it is directed into greenhouses for use in the photosynthesis process for additional yields.
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Evaporation of substances occurs when the molecules in a liquid state absorb enough heat energy to vaporize into a gas. The heat energy, which causes the molecules to move, is known as kinetic energy. During this change, the water molecules remain the same, except that they are moving at a faster speed, and their energy heightens as a result of the movement. However, this entire evaporation process can be altered or controlled by various factors including temperature, exposed surface, wind, and humidity among others.
Temperature affects the rate of evaporation in that, the higher the temperature is set, the higher the rate of evaporation. The reason for this is because, when the temperature of the water is increased through heating or simply shining a powerful spotlight at it, the water molecules are able to gain more energy that facilitates faster movements, making them to escape much faster. In case the energy is removed by lowering the temperature, the gas condenses back into the liquid, thus cutting down the rate of evaporation.
If water evaporates in an air-tight container, the space above the water is filled with more and more water vapor. When the air is concentrated with lots of water vapor, it means that there is a high humidity. Humidity can be defined as the amount of water vapor in the air. At the time that it is high, it is more difficult for water to escape through the process of evaporation. What happens is that it is like the air is full and cannot be able to hold more water vapor. Thus, there will be a slower rate of evaporation. If the space above the water is completely filled with water vapor, evaporation is balanced through the process of condensation.
In explaining how wind affects the rate of evaporation, it is important to note that when evaporation occurs, the water vapor gathers above the water surface. In the event that there is wind, the water vapor is removed as soon as it is formed. As a result of this, more space for water molecules to escape into the air is created. The process can be simply summed up by stating that the stronger the wind, the higher the rate of evaporation.
The exposed surface area of the container used in carrying out an experiment also can affect the rate of evaporation. The whole process can be summed up that, the larger the surface area exposed, the higher the rate of evaporation. With a larger surface area exposed, more heat and wind is able to come into contact with the water molecules, thereby increasing the evaporation rate. A good example that can illustrate this better is the reason why it is always advisable that people hang their clothes out to dry instead of hanging them inside enclosures. Another example is that a wet cloth that is spread out dries much faster compared to one that is folded.
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Plants play a major role in supporting the environment and life in general. Without them, life would be simply a bed of rocks without anything much to smile about. For them to growth, there are quite a number of factors that come to play. There are those factors that can support growth of plants and others that may inhibit the process. The common factors affecting plant growth can be categorized into nutritional and environmental factors. Nutritional factors include water and nutrients while environmental factors comprise of light, temperature, relative humidity, soil, carbon dioxide and humidity.
In terms of nutritional factors that affect plant growth, it should be noted that the presence of adequate nutrients can support the growth of healthy plants. On the contrary, when there is no sufficient nutrients, plants will wither and appear weak just like it occurs even in humans. Plants require more macronutrients like nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and sulfur compared to micronutrients that include iron, zinc, manganese, boron, copper, molybdenum, chlorine and cobalt.
Water is also another nutritional factor that affects plants’ growth in that; it is one of the most essential requirements. It is with water that processes like photosynthesis, respiration, transportation of plant nutrients and transpiration take place. This means that without water, plants will automatically die.
Various sources including natural and artificial can be used for the provision of light to plants. For plants to be able to generate leaves and even flower there has to be light. While natural light is the best for growth of plants, artificial can also be adjusted to certain limits to aid the process. However, the requirement of light varies from one plant to another since there are those that require too much light and others that require less. Just like it is with water, the absence of light can significantly hamper growth of plants and produce unpleasant results.
Temperature is yet another factor that can also influence the growth of plants. The temperature of the surrounding and also that of the soil greatly influence the way in which a plant grows. It is always required that there has to be optimum temperature for processes like respiration, photosynthesis, germination and flowering. Even though there are plants that can survive in areas experiencing high temperatures, it can lead to withering of many varieties of plants.
For plants to grow well, it is required that there needs to be soil with proper humidity as well as the right measure of minerals and nutrients. However, the type of soil and nutrients that are required for growing a particular plant depends on its species. The ideal PH balance, which determines the alkalinity or acidity of soil and presence of certain chemicals therein are also crucial in the growth of plants.
For plants to grow well, they also require carbon dioxide. In fact, plants can utilize up to 1500 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide can be provided for plants naturally from the atmosphere or artificially by injection in greenhouses.
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The life cycle of plants begin with the germination of seeds that are obtained from mature plants. The process continues over and over in a cycle that keeps the species of various plants. Germination can be simply defined as the sprouting of seeds after a period of dormancy. For the process of germination to successfully occur, there are several factors that play significant roles. There are various factors that can impact germination; however, the most common ones include water, health of the seeds, time, temperature, presence of oxygen, light exposure and heat.
Water is one of the basic requirements for germination to take place. Mature seeds that are planted are usually dry to the extreme and need to absorb water that is relative to the dry weight of the seed. However, seeds may at times also germinate in soil with low moisture content. The only hitch is that such conditions may not allow the seed to perform all its genetic potential. On the other hand, it should also be noted that germination of seeds can be impeded by excess water or moisture as a result of restriction of the availability of oxygen.
It should also be noted that germination of seeds is usually triggered when temperatures rise. Combined with the presence of available water in liquid form, the two work together towards the benefit of plants. Thus, it should be noted that seeds are only able to germinate when there is a rise in temperature and adequate water.
Light levels also affect germination. Most seeds are usually tiny and when planted, land on the soil’s surface. There are also some seeds that larger and are eaten then expelled by birds and other animals in soil together with the droppings. For all these kinds of seeds, light plays a major role in their germination. High light levels positively impact the growth of plants. Seeds that are planted in winter usually experience slow growth based on the low light levels that significantly slows down the process.
It is also important to bear in mind that seeds that are planted in environments that are deprived of oxygen like in areas with tightly compacted soil or are waterlogged, may germinate very poorly or even fail to undergo the process altogether. To most people, the delay in germination as a result of unfavorable environmental conditions can be termed as seed dormancy; however, the right term should be seed quiescence.
The health of the seeds is also another factor that can affect the germination of seeds. Today, seeds can be obtained from various sources including agricultural stores and even those preserved by farmers. It is required that before planting, you need to check the seeds keenly so as to ascertain whether they are in the right health that can germinate. Some seeds may look so healthy on the outside but not so inside. Such may not germinate since the process begins from within the seed, and in case it is interfered with, it is unlikely that germination will take place.
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Cardiac output can be simply defined as the amount of blood that the heart is able to pump in one minute, and it is based on the heart rate, preload, afterload and contractility. When interpreting the cardiac output values, it is important to understand the applicability and practical relevance of each of the four components. Cardiac output is measured in liters per minute, and is logically equal to the product of the stroke volume and also the number of beats per minute, also known as the heart rate.
Heart rate is one of the factors that can affect cardiac output. The faster the heart beat, the more the amount of blood that can be pumped over a given period of time. For example, if a cyclist is pedaling a bike, it can be said that the faster he or she pedals, the faster the bike will be able to move. However, it should also be noted that if the cyclist continues peddling too fast for too long, he or she will get tired and unable to maintain the speed, thus, the bike will slow down. In a similar way, if the heart rate is too slow or too fast, the cardiac output can be impaired
With regards to contractility, we can still use the example of a cyclist to be able to understand the concept. In case the cyclist flexes his or her muscles more and pedals a little faster, the bicycle will move faster. The can be compared to an increase in contractility of the muscles of the heart that can result into increased cardiac output. When the contractility is impaired such that it moves slowly, cardiac output will be significantly reduced. However, you should keep in mind that too much effort can result into fatigue, an occurrence that may further lad to complete collapse.
Preload greatly depends on the amount of ventricular filling. An increase in the distension of the ventricle results into an increase in the contraction force that is similarly reflected in the cardiac output. Preload can be compared with a tailwind that allows the cyclist to move faster without additional muscular effort. However, it gets to a point when the preload value in the heart is eventually reached and there is no longer an increase in cardiac output.
Afterload is defined as the force against which the ventricles must act so as to discharge blood, and is based on arterial blood pressure and vascular tone. Still with reference to the example of a cyclist, cycling on a large smooth road compared to a narrow and bumpy one with a gentle down slope can significantly increase the speed at which the bicycle moves. Reducing afterload can increase cardiac output, especially in conditions whereby contractility is hindered.
Apart from the above mentioned, there are also some factors that have also been cited to impact cardiac output like chemicals produced during times of excitement, medications, chronic high blood pressure, kidney diseases among several others. However, these can affect cardiac output indirectly.
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Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. There are quite a number of factors that can affect blood pressure, causing it to shift from time to time or on a daily basis. At times, it is not easy to explain some of the factors that have been alleged to impact blood pressure, however, some of the renowned ones include genetics, nutrition, smoking, exercise, alcohol among several others.
Exercise is recommended for every person, in fact, it is required that you engage in workouts frequently in order to stay healthy and fit. Through exercise, you are able to maintain an active lifestyle that is crucial in keeping your blood pressure in check. In fact, it is even recommended that people who are suffering from blood pressure need to take part in exercises in order to decrease their blood pressure. Adult are advised to engage in cardiovascular workouts like cycling, swimming and walking for at least 150 minutes weekly.
Studies by various institutions have also revealed that nutrition plays a great role with regards to blood pressure. The diet that you eat affects the blood pressure in that; there are certain foods that are capable of either increasing or decreasing a person’s blood pressure. For instance, there is a eating plan known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) that is usually recommended to people faced with or are at risk of high blood pressure. Foods that are high in cholesterol can significantly increase a person’s blood pressure while those rich in dietary fiber and other nutrients can help maintain blood pressure at a good level.
Alcohol is also another factor that can have an effect on blood pressure. It is a drug that if consumed in very large amounts can lead to high blood pressure. Thus, it is always advisable that those who drink alcohol need to do it in moderation so as to avoid the risk of developing hypertension. It is recommended that people should adopt the habit of drinking alcohol twice a week and only consume two servings, equivalent to two glasses of wine measuring four-ounces each. The current recommendation limits alcohol intake to not more than two drinks and one drink per day in men and women.
Smoking is another factor that can have an impact on your blood pressure. Smoking can cause peripheral vascular disease that is characterized by the narrowing of blood vessels that transport blood to the arms and legs. With this, blood will be forcefully transported to the legs and arms causing an increase in the pressure.
Among the factors that affect blood pressure, stress is also one that most people are not really aware of. The effects of stress may vary from one person to another; however, in the long-term it appears to cause high blood pressure. Stress-induced blood pressure can be handled through exercise, massage and psychological therapy.
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Effects of Smoking
Smoking is a habit that is loathed by many due to the risks of cancers that it poses to the victims. Apart from just the cancers that smoking can cause, it also affects the lungs. In fact, studies indicate that almost 90% of all the cases of lung cancer are as a result of smoking. Smoking greatly impairs the respiratory system. The most common health conditions that result from smoking are lung cancer and obstructive pulmonary disease.
There are several effects that smoking has on the respiratory system of those involved. Exposing children and infants to passive smoke increases their risk of wheezing, severity and frequency of attacks by asthma, coughs and lower respiratory tract infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. Besides this, it can also increase the risk of acute and chronic middle-ear disease that is common in children.
There is also considerable evidence that links passive smoke exposure in adults with the increased risk of lung cancer infections and ischaemic heart disease. As a result of smoking, asthma is precipitated and even its severity is significantly increased. New evidence from Jaakkola et al, 2003 also points out that the beginning on asthma in adults may be induced through exposure to passive smoke.
The consequences of smoking apply to both active and passive smokers. Going by the studies that have been conducted by various health institutions, there is a reduced respiratory capacity in both those who are exposed to smoke passive as well as those who engage in the habit. The findings are associated to with a variety of factors that include increased bronchial reactivity, increased airflow, and increased vocal fold mass. It should be noted that the effects of smoking on respiratory capacity can be experienced by both young and accomplished smokers. Provided that one has been exposed to smoke, there are higher chances that they may suffer the consequences.
In order to understand the results of smoking on respiratory capacity, it is important that you also get to know about how the problem generally begins. Cigarette is made from tobacco and a variety of chemicals. All the ingredients that are used in the manufacture of cigarettes are harmful to the body in one way or another. Since smoke is inhaled, the first effects of smoking are felt on the respiratory tract. In fact, this is also the place that is usually mostly affected by health conditions that result from smoking.
In the event that a person smokes cigarette or is exposed to smoking passively, the smoke is inhaled and travels along the respiratory tract to the lungs. The passage through which the smoke travels retains some deposits of the chemicals. As long as a person continues to smoke, the chemicals and particles from cigarette smoke builds up along the respiratory tract. The effects can be felt within a short period of time since accumulation of the cigarette chemicals like tar and nicotine can lead to difficulty in breath, pain the respiratory tract among several other effects.
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The Great Depression
The Great Depression is one of the worst economic events that occurred in America between 1929 and 1932. This period was preceded by economic and credit booms with many individuals and companies investing in the stock market. After the 1929 Crash of the Stock Market, things took a different turn and America’s economy spiraled down to its knees. The following are some of the major impacts that this devastating economic crunch had on America and its citizenry.
Banks went Bankrupt
Most of the banks were lending money to individual investors and companies during the 1920s. In fact, there was a credit boom during this period and most people had borrowed money to invest in stock markets and other areas. Subsequently when the crash of the stock market occurred, the banks were most affected. The early thirties saw about 10000 American banks close down including The Bank of America.
Companies Closed Down
Most companies relied on the banks for credit during the 1920s. This credit was invested in new projects, inventions and other strategic activities. In addition, companies also heavily depended upon consumption of their products. During the Great Depression most banks collapsed and credit was very limited. Most citizens could no longer afford their basic needs. Even though there were shops which were stocked, people could not purchase basic utilities such as food. As a result prices of commodities went down and companies suffered huge losses. This led to their subsequent closure.
High Unemployment Rate
There was massive unemployment in America following the Great depression. It is estimated that 12,000 people lost their jobs on a daily basis and almost 60% of Americans were jobless during this period. This was because many companies closed shop leaving the masses unemployed.
In particular the traditional industries such as the Steel industry, Real Estate industry and many other factories could no longer remain open because of the major losses they kept incurring. These businesses shut down as a result leaving millions of Americans unemployed.
Furthermore, those who worked in farms were also adversely affected by the Great Depression. This is because many small scale farmers lost their land as a result of bankruptcy and auctions. The few that remained could not produce anything anymore because they used poor methods of farming and over-tilled the land until it was no longer productive.
High Immigration Rate
During the 1920s many immigrants had come to America in such of opportunities. This changed during the Great Depression. It is estimated that the number of such immigrants dropped from almost 250,000 annually to 23,000 only. Instead, Americans began migrating to other countries. Rural to urban migration was also high during this period as people left their unproductive farms to seek alternative means of earning a living.
High Levels of Poverty
Generally, the Great Depression was marked by unprecedented levels of poverty in America. Over 60% of children were malnourished and hundreds of thousands of people were reported to have suffered from starvation. There were also 2 million people who were left homeless as a result of foreclosures of both personal homes and farms. Such people moved to shanties made out of carton boxes which were nicknamed “Hoovervilles” in scorn of the then sitting President Hoover.
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The Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl is a term which was coined by a journalist during the “Dirty Thirties”. This term was used in reference to the resultant areas where several dust storms occurred in America during the 1930s. Areas affected by these dust storms included: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico. In addition to the dust storms, the “dust bowl” areas were characterized by drought.
The dust storms were very severe in some cases such as the “Black Sunday” which occurred in Boise City, Oklahoma in April 14th 1935 where dust blizzards engulfed the entire state. There were times that such blizzards would cloud the dust bowl to the extent that one could not see anything or anyone within a meter. Sometimes the strong winds would blow the dust as far as New York, Washington DC and even Chicago.
Major causes of the Dust Bowl
There are many factors that have been attributed to the causes of the dust storms, blizzards and the drought. Originally, the Great Plains areas where all these states lie in were not cultivated. This is because they were mostly semi arid and experienced minimal rainfall. This changed after the end of the Civil War when these areas experienced high precipitations and many immigrants settled down there. Some people have stated that the large numbers of settlers led to the degradation of the land around these areas.
In addition to the settlement, there were many farming machinery that were invented during the 1920s and 1930s. These included combined harvesters and gasoline tractors which were used to till the land in the Great Plains. This mechanization of farming methods led to total destruction of grass around these areas. The grass initially helped to retain moisture in the ground and also hold the soil in place. Destruction of these grass roots made the soil very weak and susceptible to the strong winds and dust storms.
The Russian Revolution and the First World War also had a great impact on agriculture within these areas. This is because during the revolution and the war, there was increased demand for food stuffs and agricultural products. This in turn led to massive cultivation of the land in order to produce enough for the rising markets. As a result, the land was over-cultivated and this led to high levels of soil erosion.
Poor farming methods used in the 1930s have also been cited as some of the main contributors to the dust bowl. Most cotton farmers for instance would leave the land bare during the winter. They would then burn the stubs before tilling the land so as to prevent weeds from growing once the cotton was planted. These processes generally curbed the grass from growing and hence destroyed the soil.
All the above reasons contributed to major soil erosion in the Dust Bowl and all the areas around the plains. This is why the dust storms blew away all the rich top soil and eventually nothing could grow in the area. Subsequently, nothing could grow on the land. This ultimately led to the drought that devastated the entire region.
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Stock Market Crash
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 was an unprecedented event that took America by surprise and had many Americans speculating on what really caused it. Scholars came up with explanations that explain why the stock market collapsed.
Amongst the causes for the Stock Market Crash of 1929 include the following:
During the 1920s there was a credit boom in America. There were many banks and investors willing to offer credit. This gave a false confidence to the citizens as well as potential investors. Such creditors were providing investors with money to buy the stock shares and this made it easy for any interested party to access stock shares. Loans being easily accessible led to the influx of “indebted investors” and when the markets collapsed, these investors rushed to sell off the stocks they had so as to salvage some money to repay their loans.
Unrealistic exuberant attitudes towards investing
After the World War 1, there was a general high sense of optimism in America. Since this period was also characterized by many inventions, people gained confidence in making investments. They were less averse to risks and when the stock market boom of the 1920s became popular, almost every citizen and company in America was interested in gaining a share.
Between 1923 and 1929 the returns on stock investments rose by 400%. This made investors blind to the potential risks and stock markets became the gold rush of the day. Such exuberance failed to deter investors even when the stock market became flooded and economists begun predicting pending loom.
Many small scale farmers who could not produce efficiently were edged out of the market by those farmers that had invested in technology. This led to agricultural recession. With these farmers making the bulwark of clients for the banks, their exit from production and low deposits in banks contributed towards the closure of many banks.
Weak Banking Systems
By 1920s there were an estimated 30,000 banks in America. These were mostly middle sized and small banks. Since such banks mostly depended on the consumers they were prone to closure when clients were not doing too well. They were thus not cushioned from disasters such as the Agriculture recession which largely reduced the amount of deposits that such banks received. Some of these banks also lent money to those investors who wanted to purchase stocks. This made them vulnerable when the stock prices begun to fall. In fact between 1923 and 1930 around 5000 banks closed down due to this weak banking system.
Buying on Margin
This is strongly linked to the credit boom which occurred in America during the 1920s. Since there was so much money to lend to investors and such a huge demand for stocks, the notion of “Buying on Margin” was introduced. Creditors gave up to 90% loans to investors who had only 10% to purchase stocks. This created many indebted millionaires who had a false sense of confidence in the market. When the prices begun to fall, the indebted investors rushed to sell off their stock so that they could pay their debts. This ultimately led to the crash of the stock market.
Mismatched Production and Consumption Patterns
The fact that many companies were inventing new products and constantly improving on these products was viewed optimistically at first. However, consumers were not purchasing the expensive vehicles and other products being produced. This created a gap and many companies had to close down. This brought down the economy and in turn led to the crash of the stock market.
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The British Empire consisted of territories taken into conquest by Great Britain. These included both land and water territories. There were several reasons why the British conquered these territories include:
- The quest for trade and commerce
- Need to get raw materials for industries
- Need for cheap labour to work on the farms and plantations
- Need to exercise authority and gain political power in the world
The First British Empire
The beginning of the British Empire dates back to the 15th century when Britain was exploring both water and land territories. During this period, the Great Britain moved in search of commercial exploits. Trade in newfound territories was mostly done through chartered companies. In territories where there lacked a proper governing system and leaders, the charter companies took complete rule.
The first British colonies included the Americas and the Caribbean areas. Great Britain conquered these particular areas because of the quest for sugar and cotton empires. It sourced many of its raw materials from these territories
Additionally during the establishment of the first British Empire, the Great Britain took charge of most naval territories. This meant that most of the important tradeable commodities were taken to the British Empire.
Some parts of India, Canada and Africa also became the colonies of the British during the 17th and 18th century. These colonies also provided much needed raw materials. However, Africa was more of a quest for cheap labour. The British invaded the African territories so as to get cheap labour through the booming slave trade.
Slaves were traded from the varied colonies in Africa. These were moved to America and parts of the Caribbean to work in the plantations and farms.
The Second British Empire
The second British Empire consisted mainly of the remaining parts of India, New Zealand, Australia and islands along the pacific. New Zealand and Australia were discovered by the famous Captain James Cook.
During the establishment of the second British Empire, Great Britain faced several challenges. First most of the colonies were fighting against colonial rule. Additionally, several European countries started competing with Britain for some of their colonies. This is why some of the European powers such as Germany, France and Belgium ended up gaining control of some of these colonies.
The Decline of the British Empire
In the 18th century slavery and slave trade were both abolished though at different time periods. Britain thus had to relinquish its power over some of the areas. The decline of the empire began with the British giving governmental powers to the white colonies. These became self ruling territories and eventually the British colonial masters begun freeing some of their former conquest territories.
By mid 20th century, many of the British colonies had regained back their independence from the British. Instead the Commonwealth program was formed to replace the British rule with a system where locals organized themselves and ruled their own countries. Majority of the African countries were the last to gain independence from the British.
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