The Great Depression
In the American democracy of the 1930s two visions of liberty collided. Working men and women battled landowners and factory managers for the right to join a union. On the tenant farms and in the steel factories working people asserted their citizenship in the midst of great economic turmoil and a tide of government reform.
Amid the economic hardships of the great depression, racial hatred & xenophobia festers. Although hate crimes like lynchings increase, Joe Louis and Marian Anderson provide inspiration to the black community, and organizations like the NAACP make progress toward equality in the courts.
By 1939 Americans were still struggling to end the Great Depression. Their dreams of peace and prosperity were celebrated at World's Fairs in New York and San Francisco. However, prosperity did not come in peacetime. Millions fled the "dust bowl" states to finally find work in new defense industries. While the New Deal changed America forever, it was war that ended the Great Depression.