The US economy was prosperous for much of the 1920s. However, toward the end of the decade, in August 1929, the economy began to contract. It was not the start of a mild recession. Rather, it was the beginning of the most serious economic depression experienced in the United States. Worldwide in scope, the Great Depression, lasted from 1929 to 1939. This economic catastrophe was the catalyst for the New Deal. While the New Deal federal governmental economic, social and labor policies represented significant new directions in federal policymaking, they did not lead to the end of the Great Depression. Rather, it was not until the country mobilized for war in 1940 that the economy emerged from the Great Depression.
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