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1930s: The Great Depression

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1930s: The Great Depression

At the end of 1929, the New York stock market took a very serve and dramatic nose dive. Within the week, all of the stocks lost at least half of their value. Banks and brokers went bankrupt, investors lost money because the companies they put their money into crashed, and people who had saving accounts withdrew all that they had. Families began to fall apart over jobs and men not being able to keep their jobs so they deserted their families. In 1931, the Depression overcame Europe because the money that the U.S. loaned from Germany and Austria they couldn't pay back, so without the money they got from the U.S., Germany and Austria was unable to pay reparations to France and Britain, so which in turn France and Britain couldn't repay the war loans to America. So by 1931, the Depression overcame Europe. Even though the government cancelled reparation payments and war loans, it was too late to save the economy.

Germany and Japan was a couple of the countries that really suffered during the Depression because they relied on exports to pay for imported food and fuel. Germany's unemployment reached 6 million by 1932. Half of the population lived in poverty, thousands of teachers and engineers were laid off, and the people that were able to keep their jobs had salary cuts and weren't able to live within their means. The U.S and China blocked Japan from importing their goods. The fallen demand of rice and silk destroyed thousands of Japanese farmers. In order from them to survive they sold their daughters into prostitution while their sons went into the military. Although the America, Britain, and French governments became involved in the economies, they all remained democratic. However in Japan and Germany, as the economy problems worsened the politics the countries, radical leaders became powerful and made the nations driven by military, hoping to gain empires large enough to support self-supporting economies, by any means necessary.

After losing World War I, Germany believed that Socialists, Jews, and foreigners were the cause of the country's problems that seemed to follow the war. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), who joined the military in 1914, used his ability as a great speaker to create a group called National Socialist German Workers' Party or Nazis for short. So for those that felt the same as Hitler did, they became his followers, but most thought he was too extreme. But that all changed once the depression hit and more Germans became unemployed. Hitler and he Nazis gained more followers. By 1933, President Hindenburg called Hitler to become chancellor of Germany. Once he was in office, Hitler took over with a dictator power. The Nazis were in charge of all government agencies, educational institutions, and professional organizations. The existence of other political parties ended and their leaders were sent to concentration camps. The Jews lost their citizenship and civil rights, prevented them from marrying "Aryans" or Germans, Scandinavians, and Britons, took



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