The Great Depression

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by emilyygoldstein
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Social Studies
American History

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The Great Depression


by Patricia Aglubat and Emily Goldstein




The Great Depression: America & Germany



The Great Depression was a global economic downturn that started out as an American Crisis. Leaving over 6 million Germans unemployed, Germany was not only in detrimental debt, but was suffering far worse than any other country. After both the Weimar and Bruning Government failed to respond to the depression effectively, passing tax increases and cutbacks rather than spending, the real beneficiary of the Great Depression became Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP.

During the first hundred days of FDR's presidency, he set out to provide relief, recovery, and reform through his set of programs referred to as the New Deal. Unlike Germany,the First New Deal was primarily focused on immediate relief such as, unemployment, hunger, etc., none of which were meant to take perminent positions.One of the most popular programs that employed several men between the ages of 18-25 was the CCC.The most pertinant part of the Second New Deal (1935-1938) was the Keynesian style of deficit spending, which focused heavily on long-term reform.

In 1934, Hitler took the role of both president and chancellor, making the Nazi party the only legal party in Germany. Under Hitler's reign, the Four-Year Plan for economic self-sufficiency and rearmament was introduced. The primary goals of this plan included a decrease in unemployment, as well as buiding up the nation's military front, which completely disregarded the Treaty of Versailles.

A strict adovocate of laissez-faire economic policy, President Herbert Hoover had failed to provide federal relief after the stock market crash of 1929. In 1930, he issued the Smoot Hawley Tariff, which raised the average tariff rate by almost 60% causing retalitation against American goods from foreign countries. Because of this, half of the American population was unemployed. Americans sought to recover from their economic depression through FDR's New Deal, which promised direct relief and assistance rather than benefits for big businesses.


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