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Iconic images from economic recessions in US history

Stacker Logo By Andrew Lisa of Stacker | Slide 1 of 31: America spent nearly one-quarter of the 20th century in some form of an economic recession. Some of these contractions are the natural result of the economy's ebbs and flows. Other times, like the most recent catastrophe in 2008, an economic downturn has been the result of external factors. Throughout the country's history, recessions have been caused by everything from global circumstances, environmental calamities, war, societal panic and the dissolution of artificial "bubbles" created by speculation around industries like real estate or technology.One of the greatest weapons a person has in times of adversity is artistic expression. So it follows that some of the most iconic images in history are those that captured the anger, austerity and hopelessness that human beings endure in times of a financial crisis. Even before the invention of the camera, artists used their talents to enshrine bank runs, protests and political events surrounding destructive recessions.These 30 photos chronicle some of the most trying times in the history of the American economy. Some profile despair, others show optimism and resilience, but every one of these images captures a moment in time when financial circumstances collided with everyday individuals. Read on for the stories behind these iconic images.ALSO: Famous propaganda posters from the last 100 years

Iconic images from economic recessions in US history

America spent nearly one-quarter of the 20th century in some form of an economic recession. Some of these contractions are the natural result of the economy's ebbs and flows. Other times, like the most recent catastrophe in 2008, an economic downturn has been the result of external factors. Throughout the country's history, recessions have been caused by everything from global circumstances, environmental calamities, war, societal panic and the dissolution of artificial "bubbles" created by speculation around industries like real estate or technology.

One of the greatest weapons a person has in times of adversity is artistic expression. So it follows that some of the most iconic images in history are those that captured the anger, austerity and hopelessness that human beings endure in times of a financial crisis. Even before the invention of the camera, artists used their talents to enshrine bank runs, protests and political events surrounding destructive recessions.

These 30 photos chronicle some of the most trying times in the history of the American economy. Some profile despair, others show optimism and resilience, but every one of these images captures a moment in time when financial circumstances collided with everyday individuals.

Click ahead for the stories behind these iconic images.

ALSO: Famous propaganda posters from the last 100 years

© Cate Gillon // Getty Images

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