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US History

The Great Depression

History >> US History 1900 to Present


Migrant Mother
Photo by Dorothea Lange
Farm Security Administration
The Great Depression was a time of great economic crisis during the 1930s. It began in the United States, but quickly spread throughout much of the world. During this time, many people were out of work, hungry, and homeless. In the city, people would stand in long lines at soup kitchens to get a bite to eat. In the country, farmers struggled in the Midwest where a great drought turned the soil into dust causing huge dust storms.

How did it start?

The Great Depression began with the crash of the stock market in October of 1929. Historians and economists give various causes for the Great Depression including drought, overproduction of goods, bank failures, stock speculation, and consumer debt.

Change of Presidents

Herbert Hoover was President of the United States when the Great Depression began. Many people blamed Hoover for the Great Depression. They even named the shantytowns where homeless people lived "Hoovervilles" after him. In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president. He promised the people of America a "New Deal."

The New Deal

The New Deal was a series of laws, programs, and government agencies enacted to help the country deal with the Great Depression. These laws placed regulations on the stock market, banks, and businesses. They helped put people to work and tried to help house and feed the poor. Many of these laws are still in place today like the Social Security Act.

How did it end?

The Great Depression ended with the start of World War II. The wartime economy put many people back to work and filled factories to capacity.

Legacy

The Great Depression left a lasting legacy on the United States. The New Deal laws significantly increased the role of the government in people's everyday lives. Also, public works built up the infrastructure of the country with the construction of roads, schools, bridges, parks, and airports.

Interesting Facts About the Great Depression Activities More About the Great Depression:

Overview
Timeline
Causes of the Great Depression
The End of the Great Depression
Glossary and Terms

Events
Bonus Army
Dust Bowl
First New Deal
Second New Deal
Prohibition
Stock Market Crash

Culture
Crime and Criminals
Daily Life in the City
Daily Life on the Farm
Entertainment and Fun
Jazz
People
Louis Armstrong
Al Capone
Amelia Earhart
Herbert Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
Charles Lindbergh
Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Babe Ruth

Other
Fireside Chats
Empire State Building
Hoovervilles
Prohibition
Roaring Twenties


Works Cited

History >> US History 1900 to Present

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African-American Biographies

African American
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