Hyperinflation and Great Depression


Inflation Simulation


• • • • Rent 2 Skittles Food 1 Skittle Utililties 1 Skittle Incidentals 2 Skittles

New Prices

• • • • Rent 40 Skittles Food 30 Skittles Utilities 30 Skittles Incidentals 20 Skittles

Newest Prices

• • • • Rent 4000 Skittles Food 4000 Skittles Utilities 4000 Skittles Incidentals 3000 Skittles

What is Inflation?

• The word `inflation' describes a situation in which prices are rising and the value of money is falling.

Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany


• • • Late in 1922 Germany failed to pay an instalment of reparations on time. French troops occupied Germany's main industrial region, the Ruhr. They wanted to keep Germany weak. – A weak Germany meant that France was safe from the threat of attack.

German Response

• • Workers go on strike because they know it will just benefit the French All the workers on strike had to be given financial support. – The government paid its way by printing more and more banknotes. – Germany was soon awash with paper money. – The result was hyperinflation.

Rich Kids?

Play Time


Street Sweeping

Group Scenario Questions

• Work on the following questions in your group.

• You only need one piece of paper in the group.


LONG-TERM CAUSES • Huge debts resulting from the costs of World War I • Widespread use of credit • Overproduction of goods while demand was falling • Rising wages for industrial workers while farm earnings were falling

IMMEDIATE CAUSES • New York stock market crash ruins investors • Banks demand repayment of loans • Without capital, businesses and factories fail

IMMEDIATE EFFECTS • Vast unemployment and misery • Loss of faith in democracy and capitalism • Authoritarian leaders gain support

LONG-TERM EFFECTS • Nazis take control of Germany • Fascist leaders gain support in Eastern Europe • Governments experiment with social programs • People blame scapegoats for economic woes • World War II begins

Great Depression in the US Video

Great Depression Reading

Great Depression Questions • Add your group’s answers to the following questions to the back of your Scenario.

– How did the Great Depression affect his childhood?

– How did it affect his community?

– What did they do for entertainment?

– How did his life change when the Depression ended?

– How does the depression continue to shape his life?