1930s

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"'30s" and "thirties" redirect here. For decades comprising years 30–39 of other centuries, see List of decades.
Great Depression Dust Bowl Second Sino-Japanese War Amelia Earhart Salt March Hindenburg disaster Nazi Party
From left, clockwise: Dorothea Lange's photo of the homeless Florence Thompson show the effects of the Great Depression; Due to the extreme drought conditions, the farms become dry and the Dust Bowl spreads through America; The Battle of Wuhan during the Second Sino-Japanese War; Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes an American flight icon; German dictator Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party attempted to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in Europe, which culminated in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, leading to the outbreak of World War II; The Hindenburg explodes over a small New Jerseian airfield, causing 36 deaths and effectively ending commercial airship travel; Mohandas Gandhi walks to the Indian Ocean in the protest Salt March of 1930.
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The 1930s (normally pronounced Nineteen-Thirties or Thirties) was a decade that began on January 1, 1930 and ended on December 31, 1939.

After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the largest stock market crash in American history, most of the decade was consumed by an economic downfall called the Great Depression that had a traumatic effect worldwide. In response, authoritarian regimes emerged in several countries in Europe and South America, in particular the Third Reich in Germany. Weaker states such as Ethiopia, China, and Poland were invaded by expansionist world powers, the last of these attacks leading to the outbreak of the Second World War a few months before the end of the decade. The 1930s also saw a proliferation of new technologies, especially in the fields of intercontinental aviation, radio, and film.

Politics and wars[edit]

Wars[edit]

The Colombian Army countering a Peruvian attack during the Colombia–Peru War
Japanese marines at Guangdong in the Battle of Wuhan in 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Internal conflicts[edit]

Major political changes[edit]

The rise of Nazism
German dictator Adolf Hitler (right) and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (left) pursue agendas of territorial expansion for their countries in the 1930s, eventually leading to the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

United States

New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, 18 May 1933

Colonization[edit]

Decolonization and independence[edit]

Disasters[edit]

The German dirigible airship Hindenburg exploding in 1937.
The Dust Bowl dust storm approaches Stratford, Texas, in 1935.


Assassinations[edit]

The 1930s were marked by several notable assassinations:

International issues[edit]

Europe[edit]

Soviet famine of 1932–33. Passers-by no longer pay attention to the corpses of starved peasants.

Africa[edit]

Hertzog of South Africa, whose National Party had won the 1929 election alone, after splitting with the Labour Party, received much of the blame for the devastating economic impact of the depression.

Americas[edit]

Amelia Earhart in 1935.

Asia[edit]

Mohandas Gandhi on the Salt March in 1930.

Australia[edit]

Economics[edit]

CCC workers constructing road, 1933. Over 3 million unemployed young men were taken out of the cities and placed into 2600+ work camps managed by the CCC.[7]
  • The Great Depression is considered to have begun with the stock market crash on September 4, 1929 and lasted through much of the 1930s.
  • The entire decade is marked by widespread unemployment and poverty, although deflation (i.e. falling prices) was limited to 1930-32 and 1938-39. Prices fell 7.02% in 1930, 10.06% in 1931, 9.79% in 1932, 1.41% in 1938 and 0.71% in 1939.[8]
  • Economic interventionist policies increase in popularity as a result of the Great Depression in both authoritarian and democratic countries. In the Western world, Keynesianism replaces classical economic theory.
  • In an effort to reduce unemployment the government created work projects such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) which was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 to maintain National Parks and build roads. Other major government work projects included Hoover Dam which was constructed between 1931 and 1936.
  • Rapid industrialization takes place in the Soviet Union.
  • Prohibition in the United States ended in 1933. On December 5, 1933, the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • Drought conditions in Oklahoma and Texas caused the Dust Bowl which forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their farms and seek employment elsewhere.

Technology[edit]

Many technological advances occurred in the 1930s, including:

Popular culture[edit]

Radio[edit]

  • Radio becomes dominant mass media in industrial nations.

Music[edit]

Main article: 1930s in music

Film[edit]

Main article: 1930s in film

In the art of film making, the Golden Age of Hollywood entered a whole decade, after the advent of talking pictures ("talkies") in 1927 and full-color films in 1930: more than 50 classic films were made in the 1930s: most notable were Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

Sports[edit]

Architecture[edit]

The Empire State Building became the world's tallest building when completed in 1931.

Literature and art[edit]

Visual arts[edit]

Social Realism became an important art movement during the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s. Social realism generally portrayed imagery with socio-political meaning. Other related American artistic movements of the 1930s were American scene painting and Regionalism which were generally depictions of rural America, and historical images drawn from American history. Precisionism with its depictions of industrial America was also a popular art movement during the 1930s in the USA. During the Great Depression the art of Photography played an important role in the Social Realist movement. The work of Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Margaret Bourke-White, Lewis Hine, Edward Steichen, Gordon Parks, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, Doris Ulmann, Berenice Abbott, Aaron Siskind, Russell Lee, Ben Shahn (as a photographer) among several others were particularly influential.

The Works Progress Administration part of the Roosevelt Administration's New Deal sponsored the Federal Art Project, the Public Works of Art Project, and the Section of Painting and Sculpture which employed many American artists and helped them to make a living during the Great Depression.

Mexican muralism was a Mexican art movement that took place primarily in the 1930s. The movement stands out historically because of its political undertones, the majority of which of a Marxist nature, or related to a social and political situation of post-revolutionary Mexico. Also in Latin America Symbolism and Magic Realism were important movements.

In Europe during the 1930s and the Great Depression, Surrealism, late Cubism, the Bauhaus, De Stijl, Dada, German Expressionism, Symbolist and modernist painting in various guises characterized the art scene in Paris and elsewhere.

People[edit]

World leaders[edit]

Emperor Hirohito in 1935. He was the last divine Emperor of Japan
Adolf Hitler wins a popular election and then establishes a dictatorship in Germany whose expansionist ambitions lead to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, as President of the United States initiates major economic reform in the United States.
Benito Mussolini, Duce of Fascist Italy from 1922 to 1943.

Politics[edit]

  • Henri, comte de Baillet-Latour, President International Olympic Committee
  • M.A. Crommelin, Secretary-general Permanent Court of Arbitration
  • Oskar Dressler, Secretary-general International Criminal Police Organization
  • Sir Herbert William Emerson, Director of Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees-High Commissioner for Refugees under the Protection of the League of Nations
  • Max Huber, President International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Thomas Frank Johnson, Secretary-general Nansen International Office for Refugees
  • Gilbert Murray, Chairman International Commission on Intellectual Co-operation
  • Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen, League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Leo S. Rowe, Director-general Organization of American States

Sports figures[edit]

Global[edit]

Jesse Owens shook racial stereotypes both with Nazis and segregationists in the USA at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

United States[edit]

Entertainers[edit]

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in the trailer for Gone with the Wind (1939)
Walt Disney introduces each of the Seven Dwarfs in a scene from the original 1937 Snow White

Musicians[edit]

Influential artists[edit]

Painters and sculptors[edit]

Muralists[edit]

Photography[edit]

See also[edit]

Timeline[edit]

The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:

1930193119321933193419351936193719381939

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bix, Herbert P. (1992). "The Showa Emperor's 'Monologue' and the Problem of War Responsibility". Journal of Japanese Studies 18 (2): 295–363. JSTOR 132824. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Lynn. "The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures" Vol. C since 1740.Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009.
  3. ^ Zabecki, David T. (1999). World War II in Europe: an encyclopedia. New York: Garland Pub. pp. p1353. ISBN 0-8240-7029-1. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica article on Manchukuo
  5. ^ "The first central committee of IMRO. Memoirs of d-r Hristo Tatarchev", Materials for the Macedonian liberation movement, book IX (series of the Macedonian scientific institute of IMRO, led by Bulgarian academician prof. Lyubomir Miletich), Sofia, 1928, p. 102 , поредица "Материяли за историята на македонското освободително движение" на Македонския научен институт на ВМРО, воден от българския академик проф. Любомир Милетич, книга IX, София, 1928.
  6. ^ A. L. Unger (January 1969). "Stalin's Renewal of the Leading Stratum: A Note on the Great Purge". Soviet Studies 20 (3): 321–330. doi:10.1080/09668136808410659. JSTOR 149486. 
  7. ^ "National Park History: "The Spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps"". Nationalparkstraveler.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  8. ^ "Inflation and CPI Consumer Price Index 1930-1939". 
  9. ^ Robert Johnson Biography. Allmusic

External links[edit]