In 1929 the world faced the largest financial and economic crisis in history, known as “The Great Depression.” This global economic depression lasted just shy of a decade and was believed to have started with the collapse of the United States stock market in October of 1929.
By 1932 US stocks were only worth a mind boggling 20% of what they were worth prior to the markets collapse. The following year (1933) nearly 50% of all of the banks across the United States had failed. Two years later (1935), a staggering 750,000 farms were foreclosed upon due to bankruptcy or distressed sales.
European countries faced a sovereign debt crisis along with a depression due to debts incurred from World War I. As an example, In Germany, unemployment reached 25%. This allowed Hitler and his Nazi party to become the top political party following the 1932 elections.
Global trade was annihilated by the depression, with countries partaking in trade wars by limiting imports. Trade was hit so hard that global trade volumes crashed to half of what it was before the Great Depression. These trade wars escalated into an actual war, starting World War II, which caused 60,000,000 deaths globally.
Most wars have started over some kind of economic influence, let’s hope we can learn from the past and prevent history from repeating itself when it comes to the Great Depression.