The Great Depression
Overproduction, over-speculation, and isolationist policies caused the greatest economic depression in United States history. Beginning with the stock market crash, America awoke from the prosperous twenties and faced a bleak decade of hopelessness and poverty. The Depression resulted in the emergence of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a leader who would bring America a New Deal and lead her through World War II. The 1930s was a time of despair, yet the decade brought forth a stronger, more committed United States of America.
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After the stock market crash on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, frightened depositors rushed to banks to claim their savings. These “bank runs” actually accelerated bank closures across the country. For every bank that closed, hundreds of people lost their life savings. This photo of a bank run in New York displays the public panic the stock market crash created. In response, many banks across the country set up regulations for how much an individual could withdraw per day. Banks tried to stay afloat, and with President Roosevelt’s “Bank Holiday” on March 6, 1933, banks were able to finally start recovering from the damages of the Great Crash. Restoring confidence in the American banking system became Roosevelt’s first priority in his plan to fix the economic depression of the 1930s.