The Great Depression

Erik Gellman and Margaret Rung

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History

Published online April 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780199329175 | DOI:

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  • US History 1900 - 1945
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From the late 1920s through the 1930s, countries on every inhabited continent suffered through a dramatic and wrenching economic contraction termed the Great Depression, an economic collapse that has come to represent the nadir of modern economic history. With national unemployment reaching well into double digits for over a decade, productivity levels falling by half, prices severely depressed, and millions of Americans without adequate food, shelter or clothing, the United States experienced some of the Great Depression’s severest consequences. The crisis left deep physical, psychological, political, social, and cultural impressions on the national landscape. It encouraged political reform and reaction, renewed labor activism, spurred migration, unleashed grass-roots movements, inspired cultural experimentation, and challenged family structures and gender roles.

Keywords: Great Depression; deflation; Keynesian economics; Congress of Industrial Organizations; Wagner Act; Hooverville; Popular Front; Dust Bowl; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; New Deal

Article.  15640 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US History 1900 - 1945 ; Urban History ; Labour History

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