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The Antifederalists' Victory in Defeat Native American Resilience and Violence in the West The Life and Times of John Adams Jeffersonian America: A Second Revolution?

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Gabriel's Rebellion: Another View of Virginia in Claiming Victory from Defeat Early National Arts and Cultural Independence Jacksonian Democracy and Modern America Jackson vs. Irish and German Immigration Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy The Southern Argument for Slavery Gold in California The Compromise of Preston Brooks and Charles Sumner The South Secedes Strengths and Weaknesses: North vs. The Road to Appomattox The Assassination of the President Rebuilding the Old Order The New Tycoons: John D. The New Tycoons: J. Politics of the Gilded Age Labor vs. Eugene V.

Debs and American Socialism Artistic and Literary Trends The Print Revolution The Wounded Knee Massacre The Election of Booker T. DuBois Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom The Panama Canal The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt were to an extent constrained by public opinion, which demanded that primary attention be given to domestic problems. The Hoover and Roosevelt Administrations concentrated upon rebuilding the U.

As the United States turned inwards to deal with the lingering effects of the Depression, militaristic regimes came to power in Germany, Italy, and Japan promising economic relief and national expansion. While they achieved some measure of success on the economic front, these regimes began to push their territorial ambitions and received minimal opposition from the rest of the world. The lack of a strong U. At the time, most U. After the fall of France in June , the United States increasingly committed itself to the fight against fascism.

Ironically, it was World War II, which had arisen in part out of the Great Depression, that finally pulled the United States out of its decade-long economic crisis. The Great Depression caused the United States Government to pull back from major international involvement during the s, but in the long run it contributed to the emergence of the United States as a world leader thereafter.

The perception that the turn inwards had in some part contributed to perpetuating the horrors of World War II caused U.

The Great Depression

Because of banking panics, 20 percent of banks in existence in had failed by Three factors played roles of varying importance. In most affected countries, the Great Depression was technically over by , meaning that by then their economies had started to recover. Most did not experience full recovery until the late s or early s, however. The United States is generally thought to have fully recovered from the Great Depression by about The timing and severity of the Great Depression varied substantially across countries.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the worst depression ever experienced by the world economy stemmed from a multitude of causes. Declines in consumer demand , financial panics , and misguided government policies caused economic output to fall in the United States, while the gold standard , which linked nearly all the countries of the world in a network of fixed currency exchange rates , played a key role in transmitting the American downturn to other countries.

The recovery from the Great Depression was spurred largely by the abandonment of the gold standard and the ensuing monetary expansion. The economic impact of the Great Depression was enormous, including both extreme human suffering and profound changes in economic policy. The Great Depression began in the United States as an ordinary recession in the summer of The downturn became markedly worse, however, in late and continued until early Real output and prices fell precipitously.

Between the peak and the trough of the downturn, industrial production in the United States declined 47 percent and real gross domestic product GDP fell 30 percent. The wholesale price index declined 33 percent such declines in the price level are referred to as deflation.

Although there is some debate about the reliability of the statistics, it is widely agreed that the unemployment rate exceeded 20 percent at its highest point.


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The Depression affected virtually every country of the world. However, the dates and magnitude of the downturn varied substantially across countries.

Table 1 shows the dates of the downturn and upturn in economic activity in a number of countries. Table 2 shows the peak-to-trough percentage decline in annual industrial production for countries for which such data are available.

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What Was the Great Depression?

Great Britain struggled with low growth and recession during most of the second half of the s. Britain did not slip into severe depression, however, until early , and its peak-to-trough decline in industrial production was roughly one-third that of the United States. France also experienced a relatively short downturn in the early s.

The French recovery in and , however, was short-lived. French industrial production and prices both fell substantially between and