The Western industrialized nations faced the worst economic crisis in history: the Great Depression. The crisis resulted from the effects of the stock market crash in the United States which began in late 1929, wiping out millions of investors and sending Wall Street into a panic. Investments and consumer spending dropped which caused rising levels of unemployment and declines in industrial output. Many people lost their jobs, and statistics showed that about 13 to 15 million people had no jobs. 50 percent of the banks in the country had failed by 1933. The major causes of the great depression were seen to be an over-extended, overly-confident stock market and a drought that hit the South.
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The main turn-around took place in the American economy after Pearl Harbor bombing and the beginning of the Second World War. People and industry became critical to the efforts towards the war. There was an urgent need for ships, weapons, airplanes, and artillery. Many men were trained to become soldiers while women kept the factories operational. There was also a need to grow food to send overseas and for home use. The ultimate entrance of America into the Second World War ended the Great Depression in America. However, the New Deal has a huge legacy on the measures that relieved Americans from suffering and hardships caused by the Great Depression that occurred during the presidency of Herbert Hoover.
Cobbs Hoffman, Elizabeth, Edward J. Blum, and Jon Gjerde. 2012. Major problems in American history: documents and essays / edited by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Edward J. Blum, Jon