Lessons on The Great Depression and the Americas (mid 1920s-1939)

This section of our resource library provides lesson ideas on the Great Depression and the Americas mid 1920s to 1939.

The 1920s saw Americans enjoy widespread prosperity. This was to end abruptly  with the crash of the stock market in October 1929. The crash was followed with what we now call the Great Depression. The Great Depression was an economic depression unlike anything that had been seen before or since. The Depression was to last for 10 years when the world entered into the Second World War.

The great depression threatened people’s jobs, their savings, and even their homes and farms. During the worst of the depression, over a quarter of Americans were out of the workforce. For most Americans, these were the hardest times they would ever experience. For the fortunate others, they prospered and built their wealth.

When Roosevelt (FDR) was elected as United States President in 1933, his implementation of the New Deal became a time of hope and optimism for many and a time of disappointment for others. Although the economic depression continued throughout the New Deal era, FDR kept firm in his belief “that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

The economic troubles of the 1930s were not just the worries of the United States. Countries across the globe felt the effect in one way or another. This economic instability led to political instability in many parts of the world. Europeans were to see Hitler rise to power in Germany, Mussolini rise to power in Italy and Asia was to experience the rise in Authoritarianism with Japan. It was this rise in authoritarism that would finally push Europe into war with the invasion of Poland in September of 1939 and eventually war in the Asia Pacific region in 1941.

The United States had adopted the policy of Isolation and as a result was able to avoid the conflict of 1939. This was not to last long.  Japan attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. As a result, the United States had no other choice but to join the war that had originally started in Europe but had now spread into the Asia Pacific region. Millions of American men and women joined the armed forces, and even larger numbers went to work in well-paying defence jobs. The economy worries of the Great Depression were now over.

Our lessons are created and used by experience and qualified History educators. Lessons had been improved based on student and teacher feedback. All lessons are editable so that educators can catered learning experiences based on student needs and teacher learning styles.

Our students have loved learning about The Great Depression and the Americas (mid 1920s-1939) and we know yours will too!

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