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Great Depression (U.S.)

The economic crisis of the 1930s prompted a major reassessment of the relationship between the state and the economy in the United States. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal (1933–1941) expanded welfare provision, orchestrated a massive program of public works, introduced a swath of new regulatory agencies, and significantly empowered organized labor. This, then, was a period of significant political and ideological adjustment, but it was an adjustment characterized by paradox, ambivalence, and uncertainty, particularly in relation to the politics of consumption.

The collapse of the U.S. economy following the Wall Street Crash in October 1929 was sudden and shocking. By mid-1930, the economy was at a virtual standstill. As David Kennedy explains, when Franklin D. Roosevelt entered the White House in March 1933, the gross national ...

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