To properly understand the events of the time, it is factually appropriate to view the Great Depression as not one, but four consecutive downturns rolled into one. These four "phases" are:[2]

I. Monetary Policy and the Business Cycle

II. The Disintegration of the World Economy

III. The New Deal

IV. The Wagner Act

The first phase covers why the crash of 1929 happened in the first place; the other three show how government intervention worsened it and kept the economy in a stupor for over a decade. Let’s consider each one in turn.