Social Studies - 2018-19

USII.6d - Great Depression

The student will apply social science skills to understand the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by

d) analyzing the causes of the Great Depression, its impact on Americans, and the major features of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Adopted: 2015



The optimism of the 1920s concealed problems in the American economic system and attitudes about the role of government in controlling the economy.

The Great Depression and the New Deal dramatically changed the lives of most Americans and began to change both their understanding of the economic system and the role of government in American life.


Causes of the Great Depression

 People overspeculated on stocks, using borrowed money that they could not repay when stock prices crashed.

 The Federal Reserve’s poor monetary policies contributed to the collapse of the banking system.

 High tariffs discouraged international trade.

 Many Americans had too much debt from buying consumer goods on installment plans.

Impact on Americans

 A large number of banks closed, and other businesses failed.

 One-fourth of workers were without jobs.

 Large numbers of people were hungry and homeless.

 Farmers’ incomes fell to low levels.

Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal used government programs to help the nation recover from the Depression.

Major features of the New Deal

 Social Security

 Federal work programs

 Environmental improvement programs

 Farm assistance programs

 Increased rights for labor


Updated: May 16, 2018