What is Great Depression?

Legal Definition
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world's economy can decline.

The depression originated in the United States, after a fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide GDP fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession. Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries, the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II.

The Great Depression had devastating effects in countries both rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%.

Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Decade-long financial-depression in the US from 1930 through 1940. Its devastating worldwide impact resides as the worst in living memory. Its precise causes are disputed. However, its beginning occurred on Black Monday, October 28, 1929, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 13 percent. The Federal Reserve System (The Fed) raised interest rates, discouraging stock speculation in the stock market, booming through the 1920s. Stock prices declined 40 percent between October 29 and November 13. Over $30 billion flushed from the US economy. 9,000 banks went bankrupt. This destroyed 9 million savings accounts. 86,000 businesses withered. Wages fell 60 percent on average. 15 million jobless Americans was 25 percent unemployment. Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany and World War Two rose from the financial devastation in Europe.