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The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a global economic downturn that endured from 1929 to 1941. The initial downturn began soon after central banks tightened the money supply in 1928. As national governments increased their central banks’ gold stock, an international gold deflation depressed prices and increased economic volatility. After the initial dip, the economy remained sluggish as central banks continued to enact inflationary monetary policy and governments expanded expenditures and regulations. The unpredictability of these policies discouraged entrepreneurial activity and prolonged the Great Depression.

 

Cato Institute: Amity Shlaes - A New History of the Great Depression

 

Future of Freedom Foundation: Lawrence Reed - Lessons from the Great Depression

Related Publications

ARTICLE

The Great Depression

MARCH 05, 2009

With a slumping economy and a President committed to Keynesian economics, the Great Depression has become a topic on top of the public's mind. Indeed, now more than ever it is imperative to understand the truth about the Depression and how we can avoid another one. This special feature includes a selection of articles and books on the subject.

ARTICLE

Rome and the Great Depression

FEBRUARY 24, 2009 by LAWRENCE W. REED

Commentators on the present financial crisis have noted some interesting parallels to the Great Depression of the 1930s. But more ominous parallels to an earlier age should not escape our notice.

Related Freeman Articles

BOOK REVIEW

FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression

Why Did New Deal Spending Fail to Lift the American Economy?

JULY 06, 2010 by BURTON FOLSOM

Related Multimedia

MULTIMEDIA - BOOK

Great Myths of the Great Depression

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 by LAWRENCE W. REED

MULTIMEDIA - VIDEO

FDR and the Great Depression

MARCH 22, 2011

MULTIMEDIA - VIDEO

Hans Sennholz on the Great Depression, Part 2

FEBRUARY 01, 2010

This is part 2 of a lecture given by Han Sennholz at FEE on February 29, 1988. In it, Sennholz discusses the widespread historical misunderstanding of the Great Depression.

MULTIMEDIA - AUDIO

Hans Sennholz on The Great Depression, Part 1

JANUARY 27, 2010

This is video from FEE's archive is of Hans F. Sennholz lecturing to students about the Great Depression on February 29, 1988. Sennholz covers the history of the era and how government intrusion into the economy is ultimately to blame for the disaster.

MULTIMEDIA - VIDEO

Economic Liberty Lecture Series: Great Depression

NOVEMBER 06, 2009

ONLINE EVENTS

FEE offers live online events for people new to the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society.

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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