(Watkins, 2002; Johnston and Williamson, 2004) Unemployment was another measure of the depression’s impact.
In Germany, for instance, the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party occurred at least partly because Hitler claimed to be able to transform a weakened Germany into a self-sufficient military and economic power which could control its own destiny in European and world affairs, even as liberal powers like the United States and Great Britain were buffeted by the depression.
Similarly, the substantial increases in personal income and frequently, if not always, in quality of life during the war led many Americans to foresee permanent improvements to their material circumstances, even as others feared a postwar return of the depression.
Finally, the war’s global scale severely damaged every major economy in the world except for the United States, which thus enjoyed unprecedented economic and political power after 1945.
In the United States, President Franklin Roosevelt promised, less dramatically, to enact a “New Deal” which would essentially reconstruct American capitalism and governance on a new basis.
As it waxed and waned between 19, Roosevelt’s New Deal mitigated some effects of the Great Depression, but did not end the economic crisis.