American Dream:  The ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.[1]

Capitalism:  Capitalism is an economic system in which the government pays a secondary role. People and companies make most of the decisions and own most of the property. The means of production are privately owned by individuals and companies operate on profit basis.[2]

Dictator:  A ruler who has total control and power over a country, this power and control is typically obtained by force.[3]

Great Depression:  Refers to the consequences of the stock market in America, a period of economic decline and poverty due to the stock market crash of 1929.[4]

Laissez-faire:  Abstention of governments from interfering in the workings of the free-market economy.[5]

New Deal:  The New Deal was a domestic program of the United States which contained several programs between 1933 and 1939 to solve the problems caused by the Great Depression to bring about economic relief as well as reforms in industries such as agriculture and finance.[6]

Overproduction:  One of the major causes of the Great Depression. Factories and farms were producing far more goods than the people could afford to buy. As a result, prices fell, factories were closed down and workers were laid off.[7]

Social Security:  A federal insurance scheme providing benefits for pensioners and those who are unemployed or disables.[8]

Wall Street Crash of 1929:  Also known as the Great Crash, was a major American stock market crash that occurred in the autumn of 1929. It started in September and ended later in October, when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed.[9]

Note:  Most definitions are acquired through Google’s online English Dictionary.

This content was originally produced for the SAHO classroom by
Sebastian Moronell, Ayabulela Ntwakumba, Simone van der Colff & Thandile Xesi.

End Notes

[1]  Lesson Plan: The American Dream". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved March 30, 2021.

[2] Cohen, Daniel. Our modern times: the new nature of capitalism in the information age. MIT Press, 2004. Available at;

[3] Dictator – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Merriam-Webster. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Accessed 17 April 2021

[5] Ibid.,

[9] Bone, James. "The beginner's guide to stock markets"The Times. London. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2021. The most savage bear market of all time was the Wall Street Crash of 1929–1932, in which share prices fell by 89 percent”.

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