Great Depression

Full Name
The Great Depression
Event Type
Start Date
End Date
Parent Event

The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in US history. It began with the stock market crash of October 1929, signaling the beginning of what is known as the defining moment in the twentieth-century history. Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15%, and by 1933, unemployment was at 25 percent and more than 5,000 banks had gone out of business. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade fell by more than 50%. Economists and historians often cite the Great Depression as the most catastrophic economic event of the 20th century.

  • Took place between 1929 and 1940
    •    Included 2 separate technical recessions:
      1. 1929-1932 Recession
      2. 1933-1936 were actually years of growth
      3. 1937-1940 Recession
  • Stock markets dropped ~80% from 1929 to 1932
  • Some viewed it as a "Crisis of Confidence"
    • Federal Government & Private Actions were coordinated to restore investor confidence
    • Nonetheless, banks failed, markets stayed depressed, etc. (suggested these efforts may not have worked)
  • Countries reacted by becoming increasingly protectionist
    • Also lead to a rise in populism (Hitler & Mussolini)
    • Tariffs enacted ended up making the depression worse