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IB History Internal Assessment (IA)

Depression: Breadlines:long line of people waiting to be fed: New York City: in the absence of substantial government relief programs during 1932, free food was distributed with private funds in some urban centers to large numbers of the unemployed Courtesy National Archives

"The Great Depression was a worldwide economic slump of the 1930's. It ranked as the worst and longest period of high unemployment and low business activity in the 1900's. Banks, factories, and shops closed, and farms halted production. Millions of people were left jobless and penniless. Many people had to depend on the government or charity to provide them with food.

In the United States, the decline in industrial production began in the second half of 1929. The economic downturn worsened in October 1929, when values of stocks dropped dramatically. Thousands of shareholders lost large sums of money, and by 1930, consumer spending had fallen sharply. Many other countries—especially major producers of raw materials and agricultural goods—experienced a decline in economic activity in the late 1920's. Rising unemployment, declining production, and falling prices spread rapidly to the rest of the world in the early 1930's. The Depression caused a decrease in world trade, as countries tried to help their own industries by increasing restrictions on imports. The impact of the Great Depression varied from country to country.

The Great Depression had significant effects on people's beliefs and on government policies. It caused some nations to change their leaders and their types of government. In the United States, President Herbert Hoover held office when the Great Depression began. But soaring unemployment and declining output led to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. The Roosevelt administration introduced a number of policies that transformed the role of the government in the economy.

The Depression affected the governments of other nations as well. The poor economic conditions contributed to the rise of the German dictator Adolf Hitler and to the Japanese invasion of China. The German people supported Hitler in part because his plans to make Germany a world leader gave them hope for improved conditions. The Japanese developed industries and mines in Manchuria, a region of China now called the Northeast, and claimed that this economic growth would relieve the Depression in Japan. The militarism of Germany and Japan helped bring about World War II (1939-1945).

Recovery from the Depression began as many countries devalued (lowered the value of) their currencies and increased the money supply—that is, the amount of money in circulation. Economic conditions further improved after nations increased their production of war materials at the start of World War II. This increased level of production substantially reduced unemployment."

Mitchener, Kris James. "Great Depression." World Book Advanced, World Book, 2021, 
"Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange." World Book Advanced, World Book, 2021. Online media, 

The Great Depression on JSTOR

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