Topic 12: The Great Depression and the Americas

The Wall Street Crash of October 1929 led to a devastating economic depression - not just in the United States but also the rest of the Americas - and indeed, countries of Europe and Asia. Topic 12 focuses on the causes of the Depression, the attempted solutions to the economic crisis and the political, economic and cultural consequences for the region.

Specifically this unit covers the following:

  • The political and economic causes of the crisis
  • The solutions provided by Hoover and then by Roosevelt and his New Deal
  • Criticisms of the New Deal and its long-term political and economic impact
  • The impact of the Depression on Latin America with a focus on one country as a case study
  • The social and cultural impact of the Depression

1. Causes of the Great Depression in US

The economic depression, which first affected the United States and then the whole world, started with the collapse of share prices on the Wall Street Stock Exchange in New York, October 1929. However,...

2. Hoover, Franklin D Roosevelt and the New Deal

Hoover and Roosevelt had very different approaches to dealing with the economic crisis triggered by the Wall Street Crash. This page has ATL to examine and evaluate these different approaches.

3. Political, economic and social impact of the Depression

The Depression had profound political, economic and social consequences for the US. This page examines the impact of the economic crisis on society, and the legacy of the New Deal on the political and...

4. The Great Depression in Canada

The Depression that started in the US spread to many countries; Canada – with its strong economic ties to the US suffered particularly badly. Between 1929 and 1939, the Gross Domestic Product fell 40%...

5. The impact of the Depression on Brazil

The Great Depression severely affected the countries of Latin America; indeed a League of Nations report highlighted Chile, Mexico and Bolivia as countries worst hit by the Depression.The IB recommends...

6. The Great Depression and the Americas: videos

Here are some extra videos on the Depression in the US and in Canada which are in addition to the documentaries we have put up on the ATL pages.This documentary is interesting as it includes discussion...

7. The Great Depression and the Americas: essay planning

This page contains a variety of essay writing exercises and essay plans for this topic.Task One: Essay planningIn pairs, plan the following essay. Click on the eye for hints to help you with your planning.

8. Great Depression and the Americas: Extra resources

On this page you can find useful websites for this unit along with historians' texts that students might find enjoyable to develop their understanding further. There are also some suggestions for fiction...

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