The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a great economic crisis during the 1930s. It began in the United States, but spread throughout much of the world.

How did it start?

The Great Depression began when the stock market “crashed” in October 1929. The Great Depression had many causes, including drought, overproduction of goods, and bank failures. In the Midwest, a great drought turned the soil into dust, causing huge dust storms.

Change of Presidents

Many people blamed President Herbert Hoover for the Great Depression. 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. The plan created jobs and tried to help house and feed the poor. The Social Security Act was one of the programs, and it is still in place today.

How did it end?

World War II helped put an end to the Great Depression. The wartime economy put many people back to work and kept factories busy.


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. Hundreds of thousands of families could not pay their mortgages and were evicted from their homes.

Source: The Great Depression
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