The great depression is and was the most severe event ever experienced by the industrialized Western world, this brought fundamental changes in economic institutions, macroeconomic policy, and economic theory. Although it had originated in the United States, the Great Depression later caused drastic declines in output, severe unemployment, and acute deflation in almost every country worldwide. The Great Depression had begun in the United States as an ordinary recession in the summer of 1929, but the downturn became markedly worse, however, in late 1929 and continued until early 1933, Real output and prices fell drastically. The recovery from the Great Depression was started largely by ditching the gold standard and any ensuing monetary expansion, causing the economic impact of the Great Depression to be absolutely enormous, including both extreme human suffering and profound changes in economic policy. The Depression affected virtually every country of the world. However, the dates and magnitude of the downturn varied substantially across countries, Great Britain struggled with low growth and recession during most of the second half of the 1920s. Britain for instance did not slip into as severe of a depression as other countries, however, until early the 1930’s, and its peak-to-trough decline in industrial production was roughly one-third that of the United States. The U.S. on the other hand had their recovery period began in the spring of 1933, where general output grew rapidly in the mid-1930’s, the real GDP rose up to an average rate of 9% per year between 1933 and 1937.
An early step for the unemployed came in the form of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a new program that was commenced by Congress in order to bring relief to young men between the ages of 18 and 25 years of age. The CCC had enrolled any young man into work camps across the country paying them around $30 per month, A little over 2 million young men had taken part in this program during the decade in order to supply for their families. planting trees and maintaining the national forests, eliminating stream pollution, creating fish, game, and bird sanctuaries, and conserving coal, petroleum, shale, gas, sodium and helium deposits were but a few of the various types of jobs the men were doing for the CCC. Between 1932 and 1935, farm income had seen an increase of more than 50 percent, but this was only partly due to the federal programs that were enacted, during that time period the farmers were being encouraged to take land out of production displacing tenants and sharecroppers, and a severe drought had hit the Great Plains, significantly reducing farm production. Violent wind and dust storms had teared through the southern Great Plains in a cataclysmic event that later became known as the “Dust Bowl,” throughout the 1930s, but particularly from 1935 to 1938, crops were destroyed, cars and machinery were ruined, people and animals were harmed, an upwards of around 800,000 people, often called “Okies,” left Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma during the 1930s and 1940s.
The great depression is easily the most important event in not only U.S. history but also the world due to how Americans not only climbed out of it, but had managed to continue making giant strides as not only an economic power but also technological advances that shape the world how it is today. The U.S. had learned how to not only get out of it but even learned to look at things that had caused it and fix those mistakes in order to make sure that the U.S. doesn’t fall into a second great depression. The people of the United States had also began to strive for far more as a result of this, such as the pursuit for the American dream, competing with Russia to be a dominant superpower, and leading multiple civil rights cases for minorities and women across the country. While events such as American Revolution and other civil rights cases can be more attributed to the changes that happened in the U.S. most of these events wouldn’t be possible or have even happened without the Great depression since after clawing out of it left little competition to be superpowers with the rest of the world with the only real competition being Russia, the government and the people would be more focused on the recovery of the economic state of the country than fighting for civil rights. These are some of the main reasons that I believe makes the great depression have the most significant impact on the history of not just the united states but the rest of the world.