The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II.
The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most
countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or
It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th
century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as
an example of how far the world's economy can decline.
The depression originated in the U.S., starting with the 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). From there, it quickly spread to almost every country in the world.
The Great Depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich and poor. Personal income,
tax revenue, profits and prices dropped while international trade
plunged by Â½ to â…”. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some
countries rose as high as 33%. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as cash cropping, mining and logging suffered the most.
Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many
countries the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the
start of World War II.