What Caused the Great Depression?

Economic Episodes in American History: The Great Depression, Part 5

What were the major causes of the Great Depression? Among the suggested causes of the Great Depression are: the stock market crash of 1929; the collapse of world trade due to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff; government policies; bank failures and panics; and the collapse of the money supply. In this video, Great Depression expert David Wheelock of the St. Louis Fed discusses the leading theories.

David Wheelock gives a presentation on “The Great Depression” as part of an economic education workshop at the St. Louis Fed. Recorded July 11, 2013.

Part 1: Why Do We Still Study the Great Depression? (5:55)

Part 2: Some Useful Terms (7:03)

Part 3: How Great Was the Great Depression? (3:06)

Part 4: The Great Recession vs. the Great Depression (6:25)

Part 5: What Caused the Great Depression? (9:59)

Part 6: The Role of Bank Failures and Panics (11:33)

Part 7: Where Was the Fed? (6:48)

Part 8: What Caused the Recovery? (3:47)

Part 9: Lessons Learned and Concluding Remarks (3:01)

For additional Great Depression-related multimedia resources, from newsreels to oral histories, visit our audio, video and interview series pages.

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