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The Great Depression was one of the worst crises of the twentieth century. For some time, the very survival of the country appeared to be at stake. Businesses failed, banks closed, people lost their homes, and thousands lined up at soup kitchens across the United States. Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a new deal, and in 1932 he was elected president. Many of his New Deal policies shaped the country in ways that are still visible today, like Social Security and the 40-hour work week. The government struggled to help the people and to keep the economy stable. The Great Depression could not be legislated out of existence, however. Only a world war was able to vanquish it.