What was the Great Depression?
It was a severe worldwide economic depression that began in 1929 and lasted for much of the 1930s in many countries. It was the longest, deepest and most widespread depression of the 20th century, and had devastating socio-economic and political consequences around the world.
Where have you heard about the Great Depression?
As one of the key global events of the last century, it's widely taught at schools and continues to be researched intensively at universities. The 2007-10 financial crisis prompted many comparisons with the Great Depression, and policymakers sought to learn lessons from the 1930s as they formulated their response to it.
What you need to know about the Great Depression.
It started in the US, after a major fall in stock prices culminated in the Wall Street crash of October 1929. Prices, incomes, tax revenues and corporate earnings fell around the world, and international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment rose to 25% in the US and as high as 33% in some countries, which helped fuel the rise of extremist parties. Many economic historians consider that the Great Depression only ended with the advent of World War Two, when government spending on munitions provided a stimulus that accelerated recovery.