THE NEW DEAL ERA
The Great Depression of the 1930s was an event of cataclysmic proportions, affecting not only the United States but also Europe and the wider world. Economists had been accustomed to previous depressions, or "panics," as they were earlier styled, but the crisis of this decade was a disaster of far greater magnitude than any that had gone before. It was the depth and persistence of the economic collapse which caused some analysts to conclude that this depression was in some basic respects different and that it was of epochal significance compared with its predecessors. It was this response to the Great Depression which resulted in interpretations that viewed the crisis in long-run or secular terms.
There were at the time, and continued to be thereafter, disputes as to whether the depression originated in America and spread outward or