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The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. The Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the global economy can decline.

The Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession. Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II.

The Great Depression had devastating effects in both rich and poor countries. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade fell by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 23% and in some countries rose as high as 33%.

Cities around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternative sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most.

Great Depression Media

62,208 media by topicpage 1 of 623
U.S. Reports: U. S. v. Northern Pacific Ry., 288 U.S. 490 (1933)

U.S. Reports: U. S. v. Northern Pacific Ry., 288 U.S. 490 (1933)

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 288; October Term, 1932; United States et al. v. Northern Pacific Railway Co. et al.

U.S. Reports: National Surety Co. v. Coriell, 289 U.S. 426 (1933)

U.S. Reports: National Surety Co. v. Coriell, 289 U.S. 426 (1933)

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 289; October Term, 1932; National Surety Co. et al. v. Coriell et al.

U.S. Reports: Home Bldg & (and) L. Assn. v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398 (1934)

U.S. Reports: Home Bldg & (and) L. Assn. v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398 (1...

Description: U.S. Reports Volume 290; October Term, 1933; Home Building & (and) Loan Association v. Blaisdell et al.

[Farm wagon, driven by an African American man, Reed Camp, South Carolina]

[Farm wagon, driven by an African American man, Reed Camp, South Carol...

Title devised by Library staff based on caption information and inventory lists. Handwritten on back: "Farm Wagon, Reed Camp, S.C.; 2; Dec. 1934." Forms part of: Lomax collection of photographs depicting folk m... more

[Prisoners breaking up rocks at a prison camp or road construction site]

[Prisoners breaking up rocks at a prison camp or road construction sit...

Title and date devised by Library staff based on caption information and inventory lists. Forms part of: Lomax collection of photographs depicting folk musicians, primarily in the southern United States and the Bahamas.

[Farm wagon, driven by an African American man, Reed Camp, South Carolina]

[Farm wagon, driven by an African American man, Reed Camp, South Carol...

Title devised by Library staff based on caption information and inventory lists. Handwritten on back: "2. Farm wagon, Reed Camp, SC Dec 1934." Forms part of: Lomax collection of photographs depicting folk music... more

[African American convicts working with axes, watchtower in background, Reed Camp, South Carolina]

[African American convicts working with axes, watchtower in background...

Title devised by Library staff based on caption information and inventory lists. Handwritten on back: "Convicts Reed Camp, SC; Dec. 1934." Forms part of: Lomax collection of photographs depicting folk musicians... more

[Prisoners working outside Reed Camp, South Carolina; Portraits of Ernest and Paul, Jennings, Louisiana; Portrait of Sam Ballard, New Iberia, Louisiana; Views of a baptism near Mineola, Texas]

[Prisoners working outside Reed Camp, South Carolina; Portraits of Ern...

Title devised by Library staff based on caption information and inventory lists. Handwritten on back: "N54: Ernest and Paul Jennings, La. July 1934, no other print of this"; "N57: Sam Ballard (Old Dad), New Ibe... more

[African American convicts working with axes, Reed Camp, South Carolina]

[African American convicts working with axes, Reed Camp, South Carolin...

Title devised by Library staff based on caption information and inventory lists. Handwritten on back: "Convicts Reed Camp, SC; Dec. 1934." Forms part of: Lomax collection of photographs depicting folk musicians... more

[Prisoners breaking up rocks at a prison camp or road construction site]

[Prisoners breaking up rocks at a prison camp or road construction sit...

Title devised by Library staff based on caption information and inventory lists. Forms part of: Lomax collection of photographs depicting folk musicians, primarily in the southern United States and the Bahamas.

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information photograph.

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information p...

To identify this image it may help to search for images that have neighboring call numbers, are similar in appearance, and have titles. There was no caption for this image in the FSA/OWI shelflist. Transfer; Un... more

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information photograph.

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information p...

Annotation on original negative jacket. This image in a jacket marked "Killed" To identify this image it may help to search for images that have neighboring call numbers, are similar in appearance, and have tit... more

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information photograph.

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information p...

To identify this image it may help to search for images that have neighboring call numbers, are similar in appearance, and have titles. There was no caption for this image in the FSA/OWI shelflist. Transfer; Un... more

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information photograph.

FSA/OWI - Farm security administration and Office of War Information p...

Annotation on original negative jacket. This image in a jacket marked "Killed" To identify this image it may help to search for images that have neighboring call numbers, are similar in appearance, and have tit... more

Pea pickers from Vermont - 6 weeks earnings $7.00 - at squatter's camp, Nipomo

Pea pickers from Vermont - 6 weeks earnings $7.00 - at squatter's camp...

Photograph shows men working on an automobile parked in front of a tent in a grove of eucalyptus trees. Title from item. In album: Rural rehabilitation camps for migrants in California / compiled by Paul S. Tay... more

Library Of Congress

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