Segments in this Video

Stock Market Crash (03:13)


Jeff Stryker discusses influences that lead to the crash: a reduction in U.S. productivity, share prices plunging, credit, inflation, and debt. The chain reaction led to the Great Depression.

Hooverville and the Bonus Army (05:21)

Stryker describes hunger, unemployment, and displacement to shanty towns. Demonstrations showed anger with leadership, including veterans asking for promised pay. General MacArthur was sent to disperse the crowd with anti-riot operations which eventually led to the end of Herbert Hoover's political career.

Roosevelt's New Deal (07:25)

President Franklin Roosevelt used an informal brain trust and ordinary citizens to generate ideas for transforming America. The New Deal began in the form of fiscal policies, banking and monetary reform, and public works plans. To raise new taxes, prohibition ended.

Resettlement and Civilian Corps (04:10)

The Resettlement Administration was created to help farm and migrant workers. Roy Stryker led a photography project and took Jeff Stryker and Arthur Rothstein as assistants; Rothstein took photos in the Dust Bowl. The Civilian Conservation Corps was created to help with environmental programs.

Migrants and Slums (06:15)

Debt led to bankruptcies and evictions so farmers set off for California, creating the mythology of Route 66. Dorothea Lange photographed the migration while Carl Mydans photographed the squalid side of America's cities.

National Labor Relations Act (05:09)

With employment on the rise, the National Labor Relations Act passed giving workers the right to unionize. Strikes in various industries arose. The New Deal was laying the ground for a welfare system.

Impact of the New Deal (05:35)

Roy commissioned photographers to document the lives of Black Americans. In response to rising global tensions, Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1935. Roy 's photographers documented the progress.

Roosevelt's Second Term (04:40)

In 1936, Roosevelt started dismantling some of the federal programs. Once he resumed control, he passed reform on minimum wage, union rights, and social security; government expanded.

Preserving the Past (10:25)

In 1937, an economic crisis led to increased public spending. Photographers transitioned to color film. War erupted in Europe, Roosevelt was elected for a third term, Pearl Harbor was attacked, and millions sought jobs. Roy transferred the photography collection to the Library of Congress.

Credits: An American Depression (00:39)

Credits: An American Depression

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

An American Depression

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



1929: The biggest economic crisis of the 20th century brought an abrupt end to the euphoria of the Roaring Twenties. Driven from their land, the farmers of the Great Plains were forced to abandon everything they had. They became migrants in their own country, and were treated as such by the vast Californian estates. They became the symbol of an America confronted by its own reality. Built on the work of the iconic photographers of the Great Depression - Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein - this full archive documentary analyzes the consequences of the economic collapse in the United States and provides a unique take on the failure of the American model.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL239534

ISBN: 978-1-63722-396-3

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.