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Unit 5: Crisis and Change

Lesson E: Economic Depression and Political Collapse

Activity 3: Comparing Capitalism and Marxism

The decline in the United States manufacturing output, as well as the withdrawal of investment capital, affected people around the world. Those affected included Argentinean cattle ranchers, Australian wool growers, Brazilian coffee workers, British steel workers, Indonesian sugar producers, Japanese fishermen, Turkish tenant farmers, and West African cocoa pickers.

The decline in the United States economy pulled most other countries down into economic depression. However, internal conditions in each country determined how quickly and how well it recovered. Some countries were less affected, overall, than others.

Many considered the Great Depression to be a sign of the failure of capitalism. This point seemed to be made by the contrasting growth in economic production in the Marxist U.S.S.R.

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Presentation Activity - Comparing Capitalism and Marxism: Views from the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

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Classroom Activity - Comparing Capitalism to Marxism

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Directions: Prepare a response to the discussion questions below. Follow your teacher's directions to participate in your class discussion.

  • How did the Great Depression contribute to the growth of communist movements?
  • What was the role of government in capitalist and Marxist countries during the Great Depression?
  • How was the Soviet Union able to progress economically during the Great Depression?

Download Icon Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


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