Study: Life and death during the Great Depression

The Great Depression had a silver lining: During that hard time, U.S. life expectancy actually increased by 6.2 years, according to a University of Michigan study published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National ...

America's new wonder: a record-breaking bridge

America's greatest technological achievement, the Hoover Dam, now has a soaring companion piece, a massive looming bridge held up by the longest arch in the Western Hemisphere.

Gambling ban would reverse recession, new book says

Legalized gambling is weighing down a global economy already mired in its deepest downturn since the Great Depression, according to a new collection of research that renews decades-old calls to outlaw betting.

Machines on the march threaten almost half of modern jobs

Computers have been an important part of many industries for decades already and have replaced humans in many jobs. But a new wave of technological development means that even positions that we once saw as immune to computerisation ...

In tech first, US puts entire 1940 census online

The National Archives opened a treasure trove to genealogists and historians on Monday, releasing the 1940 national census in its entirety -- and doing so for the first time online.

Minimum wage hikes don't eliminate jobs

Increasing the minimum wage does not lead to the short- or long-term loss of low paying jobs, according to a new study co-authored by UC Berkeley economics professor Michael Reich and published in the November issue of the ...

Strategic management theory offers fresh take on the economic crisis

The recent financial crisis and resulting global economic downturn has been the most defining global economic event since the Great Depression. Now research which appears in the November issue of Strategic Organization, published ...

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Great Depression

The Great Depression was a worldwide economic downturn starting in most places in 1929 and ending at different times in the 1930s or early 1940s for different countries. It was the largest and most severe economic depression in the 20th century, and is used in the 21st century as an example of how far the world's economy can decline. The Great Depression originated in the United States; historians most often use a starting date of when the stock market crashed of October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday.

The depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich and poor. International trade plunged by half to two-thirds, as did personal income, tax revenue, prices and profits. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60 percent. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as farming, mining and logging suffered the most. However, even shortly after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, optimism persisted; John D. Rockefeller said that "These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again."

The Great Depression ended at different times in different countries; for subsequent history see Home front during World War II. America's Great Depression ended in 1941 with America's entry into World War II. The majority of countries set up relief programs, and most underwent some sort of political upheaval, pushing them to the left or right. In some states, the desperate citizens turned toward nationalist demagogues—the most infamous being Adolf Hitler—setting the stage for World War II in 1939.

The Great Depression was triggered by a sudden, total collapse in the stock market. The stock market turned upward in early 1930, returning to early 1929 levels by April, though still almost 30 percent below the peak of September 1929. Together, government and business actually spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. But consumers, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the previous year, cut back their expenditures by ten percent, and a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the USA beginning in the summer of 1930.

In early 1930, credit was ample and available at low rates, but people were reluctant to add new debt by borrowing.[citation needed] By May 1930, auto sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, but wages held steady in 1930, then began to drop in 1931. Conditions were worse in farming areas, where commodity prices plunged, and in mining and logging areas, where unemployment was high and there were few other jobs. The decline in the US economy was the factor that pulled down most other countries at first, then internal weaknesses or strengths in each country made conditions worse or better. Frantic attempts to shore up the economies of individual nations through protectionist policies, such as the 1930 U.S. Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act and retaliatory tariffs in other countries, exacerbated the collapse in global trade. By late in 1930, a steady decline set in which reached bottom by March 1933.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA