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The Great Depression in the United States was one of the worst and longest economic collapses in the history of the modern industrial world The depression lasted from the end of 1929 until the early 1940s Although its origin was the United States the depression spread to most of the worlds industrial countries This was a disaster considering that in the early 20th century these countries had become economically dependent on each other The Great Depression saw dramatic declines in the production and sale of goods and a sudden severe rise in unemployment Businesses and banks closed their doors people lost their jobs homes and savings and many depended on charity alone to survive In 1933 at the worst point in the depression more than 15 million Americans were unemployed What were the causes of such a disaster The Great Depression was caused by increased post-war individualism unevenly distributed income and the stock market crash of 1929 Americans in the 1920s began turning inward after World War I They began to turn away from international issues and social concerns and toward greater individualism The emphasis in America at that time was getting rich and enjoying new fads new inventions and new ideas During this time the traditional values of rural America were being challenged by the city-oriented Jazz Age This age seemed to be symbolized by the shocking behavior of young women who began to wear short skirts and makeup smoked and drank People began to buy what they wanted when they wanted They began to abandon traditional principles such as saving This fit the economy well The manufacturers began mass- producing and the American people were mass consuming This kept the economy rolling in the 1920s but their was a major problem Americans were spending more than they were earning This resulted in large debts and a rise in unemployment and homelessness Although the early 1920s seemed to be a promising and prosperous time
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