Allen, Senior Editor, Pew Research Center Were confirmation needed that the American public is in a sour mood, the midterm elections provided it. As both pre-election and post-election surveys made clear, Americans are not only strongly dissatisfied with the state of the economy and the direction in which the country is headed, but with government efforts to improve them.
About the Great Depression T he Great Depression was an economic slump in North America, Europe, and other industrialized areas of the world that began in and lasted until about It was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world.
During the next three years stock prices in the United States continued to fall, until by late they had dropped to only about 20 percent of their value in Besides ruining many thousands of individual investors, this precipitous decline in the value of assets greatly strained banks and other financial institutions, particularly those holding stocks in their portfolios.
The failure of so many banks, combined with a general and nationwide loss of confidence in the economy, led to much-reduced levels of spending and demand and hence of production, thus aggravating the downward spiral.
The result was drastically falling output and drastically rising unemployment; byU. The Great Depression began in the United States but quickly turned into a worldwide economic slump owing to the special and intimate relationships that had been forged between the United States and European economies after World War I.
The United States had emerged from the war as the major creditor and financier of postwar Europe, whose national economies had been greatly weakened by the war itself, by war debts, and, in the case of Germany and other defeated nations, by the need to pay war reparations. So once the American economy slumped and the flow of American investment credits to Europe dried up, prosperity tended to collapse there as well.
The Depression hit hardest those nations that were most deeply indebted to the United States, i. In Germany, unemployment rose sharply beginning in lateand by early it had reached 6 million workers, or 25 percent of the work force.
Britain was less severely affected, but its industrial and export sectors remained seriously depressed until World War II. Many other countries had been affected by the slump by Almost all nations sought to protect their domestic production by imposing tariffs, raising existing ones, and setting quotas on foreign imports.
The effect of these restrictive measures was to greatly reduce the volume of international trade: The Great Depression had important consequences in the political sphere.
Roosevelt to the presidency in late Roosevelt introduced a number of major changes in the structure of the American economy, using increased government regulation and massive public-works projects to promote a recovery.
But despite this active intervention, mass unemployment and economic stagnation continued, though on a somewhat reduced scale, with about 15 percent of the work force still unemployed in at the outbreak of World War II.
After that, unemployment dropped rapidly as American factories were flooded with orders from overseas for armaments and munitions. In Europe, the Great Depression strengthened extremist forces and lowered the prestige of liberal democracy.
At least in part, the Great Depression was caused by underlying weaknesses and imbalances within the U. Prior to the Great Depression, governments traditionally took little or no action in times of business downturn, relying instead on impersonal market forces to achieve the necessary economic correction.
After the Great Depression, government action, whether in the form of taxation, industrial regulation, public works, social insurance, social-welfare services, or deficit spending, came to assume a principal role in ensuring economic stability in most industrial nations with market economies.
Source The International Depression The Great Depression of was the most severe economic crisis of modern times. Millions of people lost their jobs, and many farmers and businesses were bankrupted. Industrialized nations and those supplying primary products food and raw materials were all affected in one way or another.By Gene Santoro 11/28/ • Interviews, Politics, World War II Conversations.
FOR HIS NEW BOOK German Voices: Memories of Life During Hitler’s Third Reich, author Frederic C. Tubach drew on his own experience, as well as interviews and webkandii.com in San Francisco in , Tubach was three when his German-born parents opted to go .
The Great Depression and World War II () timeline covers the Great Depression, arts and entertainment, the Dust Bowl, the New Deal, Labor unions, race relations and World War II with primary sources from American Memory.
Jul 28, · Empires were destroyed, millions were killed and the world was upended in a war meant to end all others.
On July 28, , Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, a move that came a month after. Throughout American history, wartime necessity has often opened new political and social avenues for marginalized groups.
This familiar scenario played out after the United States intervened in the First World War in April The Great Depression began in when, in a period of ten weeks, stocks on the New York Stock Exchange lost 50 percent of their value.
As stocks continued to fall during the early s, businesses failed, and unemployment rose dramatically. Challenge your students to locate and interview World War II veterans, as well as people who were on the home front during that time period. If desired, before your students start, History and Social Studies > U.S.
> The Great Depression and World War II () History and Social Studies > Themes > War and Foreign Policy;.