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Learn About the
The stock market crash of October 1929
brought the economic prosperity of the 1920s to a symbolic end. For the
next ten years, the United States was mired in a deep economic depression.
By 1933, unemployment had soared to 25 percent, up from 3.2 percent in
1929. Industrial production declined by 50 percent, international trade
plunged 30 percent, and investment fell 98 percent.
The Great Depression transformed the American political and economic
landscape. It produced a major political realignment, creating a coalition
of big-city ethnics, African Americans, and Southern Democrats committed,
to varying degrees, to interventionist government. It strengthened the
federal presence in American life, spawning such innovations as national
old-age pensions, unemployment compensation,, aid to dependent children,
public housing, federally-subsidized school lunches, insured bank depositions,
the minimum wage, and stock market regulations.
It fundamentally altered labor relations, producing a revived labor
movement and a national labor policy protective of collective bargaining.
It transformed the farm economy by introducing federal price supports.
Above all, it led Americans to view the federal government as an agency
of action and reform and the ultimate protector of public well-being.
The Great Depression was steeper and more protracted in the United States than in other industrialized countries. The unemployment rate rose higher and remained higher longer than in any other western country. As it deepened, the Depression had far-reaching political consequences.
D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, 1933 http://newdeal.feri.org/texts/62.htm
Handouts and fact sheets:
Depression and the New Deal
New Deal Lesson Plans
your knowledge about the Great Depression
M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression
and War, 1929-1945.
The Pulitzer-prize winning history of the Great Depression and World
am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
The classic study of a World War I veteran unjustly imprisoned on a
Georgia chain gang.
and the Great Depression
Containing 5000 photographs, 900 primary source documents, and many
special features, the New Deal Network is sponsored by the Franklin
and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Institute for Learning Technologies
at Teachers College of Columbia University.