The Great Depression of the 1930s was
the most serious economic crisis in American history. A combination of economic
maladies—including overproduction, inequitable distribution of wealth, excessive
borrowing and speculation, inappropriate tax and tariff policies, and a shaky
banking structure—produced an economic collapse that was announced by the stock
market crash of October 1929. Over the next four years, millions of Americans (amounting to 25 percent of the
work force) lost their jobs; millions more work. . .
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