The Great Depression and World War II (1929 and 1945)

North Carolina, along with the rest of the nation and much of the world, was plunged quickly from the promise of the 1920s into back-to-back catastrophes: the greatest economic collapse in modern history and the bloodiest war humans have ever fought. Yet both events inspired a kind of progress. The Great Depression brought the opportunity for reform. World War II brought jobs, industries, new technologies, and opportunities for women and minorities.

Designed for secondary students, part nine of our web-based resource combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and multimedia to tell the many stories of North Carolina in the years between 1929 and 1945.


This chapter answers questions including:

  • Why did the Great Depression occur? Why it was its impact so significant?
  • How did governments use the Depression as an opportunity for new programs, regulations, and reforms, including the New Deal?
  • What was life like during the Great Depression?
  • What were the causes of World War II and how it was fought?
  • What were the experiences of soldiers, sailors, and aviators during WWII?
  • What were the impacts of the war on the homefront?

Chapter Contents