The Great Depression (1929-39) was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world, according to the History.com Website.
the Great Depression began soon after the stock market crash of October 1929, according to the History.com Website.
1933, when the Great Depression reached its nadir, some 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half of the country’s banks had failed, according to the History.com Website.
By 1930, 4 million Americans looking for work could not find it; that number had risen to 6 million in 1931. Meanwhile, the country’s industrial production had dropped by half. Bread lines, soup kitchens and rising numbers of homeless people became more and more common in America’s towns and cities, according to the History.com Website.
Farmers (who had been struggling with their own economic depression for much of the 1920s due to drought and falling food prices) couldn’t afford to harvest their crops, and were forced to leave them rotting in the fields while people elsewhere starved, according to the History.com Website.
Bank runs swept the United States again in the spring and fall of 1931 and the fall of 1932, and by early 1933 thousands of banks had closed their doors, according to the History.com Website.
In the face of this dire situation, Hoover’s administration tried supporting failing banks and other institutions with government loans; the idea was that the banks in turn would loan to businesses, which would be able to hire back their employees, according to the History.com Website.
In 1932, however, with the country mired in the depths of the Great Depression and some 13-15 million people (or more than 20 percent of the U.S. population at the time) unemployed, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt won an overwhelming victory in the presidential election, according to History.com Website.
When the Great Depression began, the United States was the only industrialized countrky in the world without some form of unemployment insurance or social security, according to the History.com Website.
After showing early signs of recovery beginning in the spring of 1933, the economy continued to improve throughout the next three years, during which real GDP (adjusted for inflation) grew at an average rate of 9 percent per year, according to the History.com website