The Great Depression was an economic recession in North America, Europe, and other industrialized areas of the world that began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. It was the longest and most severe depression that was ever experienced by the industrialized Western world. The Great Depression began in the United States but quickly turned into a worldwide economic recession. Almost all nations sought to protect their domestic production by imposing tariffs, raising existing ones, and setting quotas on foreign imports.
The Great Depression helped to bring about fascism in Germany. The rise of fascism predated the depression in Italy, where Mussolini took over in 1922. The Great Depression basically discredited the democratic Weimar government in Germany. However, the party in power will be blamed if things do not go right. High unemployments turned people away from the existing government, and caused them to look for alternatives, like the Fascist Nazis. However, the poor and unemployed were not the ones to turn to the Nazis during the depression. The rich, conservatives feared a communist revolution, and saw the Nazis as a way to help prevent it.
In the general election of 1928, the Nazis only managed to get 12 seats in the Reichstag. The Nazis were widely seen as a laughing-stock led by a funny little man. In 1929, Germany had borrowed a lot of money from American banks, and these loans were then recalled. Because of this, bankruptcies in Germany rose from the start of 1930. Unemployment also rose rapidly. Germany became very hard to govern. From about 1935, the new Chancellor had to govern by command. The Nazis, who exploited honest grievances, became the largest single party in the Reichstag. With the growing effects of the Great Depression, unemployment reached about 27%.
The Great Depression greatly affected Japan, and led to a rise in Japanese militarism. As Japan exported goods to other countries like America, in which they could not afford anymore because they were affected by World War I. This made Japan feel that they should be self sufficient by gaining more territory. By doing this, Japan wanted to expand to gain more natural resources and develop its own economic empire in the Pacific. This feeling increased by the increasing overpopulation of Japan. The Great Depression after World War I was the longest and most severe depression that was ever experienced by the industrialized Western world. People started to seek new ways of things, which caused the rise of Fascism, Nazism, and Japanese militarism.