Response to the Great Depression

Today we’re finishing up the Inflation Island assignment we started yesterday and will then talk about how several of Europe’s biggest countries reacted to the world wide economic depression in the 1930’s.
We started by reading the quote below together:


Pearl Buck

The cities were still there, the houses not yet bombed and in ruins, but the victims were millions of people. They had lost their fortunes, their savings; they were dazed and inflation-shocked and did not understand how it had happened to them and who the foe was who had defeated them. Yet they had lost their self-assurance, their feeling that they themselves could be the masters of their own lives if only they worked hard enough; and lost, too, were the old values of morals, of ethics, of decency. – Pearl Buck

Student answered the following questions about this quote on the back of the handout below:

  1. According to the quote above, how did inflation affect German people?
  2. Considering the overall effects of inflation, which group of people do you think were affected the most by severe inflation – the lower class, middle class, or upper class?  Why?

Students will then read Pages 908 and 909 in the textbook (From “The World Confronts the Crisis” to the end of the section) and complete the hand out below: