Great Depression Study Guide The Great Depression had a widespread and severe impact on American life. Causes

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Great Depression Study Guide

The Great Depression had a widespread and severe impact on American life.


Key Question: What caused the Great Depression?

  1. Overspeculation on stocks. People borrowed money to buy stocks, but when the stock market crashed, the borrowers had no money to repay the loans.

  1. Federal Reserve failed to prevent the collapse of the banking system.

  1. Tariffs were added to the cost of foreign products which discourage international trade

Impact on Americans

Key Question: How were Americans impacted by the Great Depression?


Large numbers of people were hungry and homeless


One-fourth of workers lost their jobs


A large number of banks and businesses failed


Farmers’ incomes fell to low levels, and many left their farms

Key Person

Key Question: Who was the creator of the New Deal?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt used government programs to help the nation recover from the Great Depression.

Major Features of the New Deal



Social Security

Pensions for elderly, unemployed and people with disabilities

Federal Work Programs

Jobs for unemployed Americans

Environmental Improvement Programs

Brought electricity and water control to Southern states

Farm Assistance Programs

Paid farmers to stop growing certain crops and helped farmers in the Dust Bowl states

Increased Rights for Labor

Set wages, prices, and standards of production


Great Depression- A period of time within the United States (and the world) where economies and businesses struggled (1930s).

Over speculation- Making a lot of risky investments (the stock market).

Stocks-A unit (share) of ownership a company sells to outsiders.

Federal Reserve-The Federal Reserve System is our nation’s

central bank (the banker’s bank).

Collapse-When an economic system cannot handle over speculation. People owe more money than they are making.

Tariffs- A tax placed on goods that come in or out of the country

International Trade-Exchanging goods and services between countries

New Deal-The name given to the laws designed to relieve the Great Depression

Federal-The central government (U.S. government)

Social Security- A program in the U.S. that requires workers to make regular payments to a government fund. The fund is used to provide retirement assistance ($) to Americans over the age of 65

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