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What was the worst decade of the 20th century?

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: May 12, 2010 
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What was the worst decade of the 20th century?


11 Responses to “What was the worst decade of the 20th century?”


  1. 1
    Mike H. says:

    As Far As World Suffering goes it'd have to be the 1930's. Personally, the 1970's were the worst for me.

  2. 2
    Darryl Raby says:

    I'd agree, but for the world I would change to mid 30s to mid 40s.

  3. 3
    CJ Russ says:

    Definitely, the 30s

  4. 4
    Chuck says:

    My vote would be the 30's.
    I was born during the great depression of the 30's and even though it was a great time for me, it was terriblly hard on my Dad since he lost his ranch in Montana due to the times. It will be interesting to see what the vote will be in about 30 years.
    Chuck

  5. 5
    Dave E. says:

    The 30's? You're kidding right? That decade is one of the worst if you are looking at this question only from an economic perspective.

    From the perspective of human suffering it would have to be the 19-teens and 40s because of the millions that lost their lives, property or were maimed during the two World Wars and the holocaust.
    Between those two the worst would have to be the 19-teens. At the end of this planet's first World War came the Spanish Flu which killed more than died during the First World War or the Bubonic Plague.

  6. 6
    Tom says:

    I agree with Dave E. the 19-teens was the worst. As I have heard it that decade saw America shrink from entering the war, apparently because of the large number of German immigrants it was initially politically dangerous to come down against the German/Autrian side. The result was irresolution in Washington and greater loss of life in Europe. Then the flu which, notwithstanding it's name apparently started in Kansas. Our medical people advised against sending troops to Europe that had been exposed to the flu virus until they had undergone a quarentine period free of the disease. However, the military demanded additional troops for Europe NOW and they were sent. As a result the flu not only moved to Europe but broke out all over Europe, killing and killing and killing. After the war we had the opportunity to form an organization for world service in the League of Nations but we nixed that idea as well. Pretty much a decade we'd like to forget.

  7. 7
    Emmyht says:

    Respectfully suggested-
    For the 20th century, the worst decade outside of wars was the 1970's, for Europe anyway, it was a time of unparalled terrorism and also the height of the cold war, in which Europe was the middle "play" ground – between the USA and Russia.

    Very respectfully – the above is only for the 20th century – I think that excluding the World Wars – which are in a class by themselves as being BEYOND heinous, and countries involved in their own wars (yes, America could not keep its nose out, or in….made very poor decisions I will not disagree); Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Rwanda….(heartbreakingly-it's a VERY VERY long list)…

  8. 8
    Pigbitin Mad says:

    In the U.S. the "teens" may have been bad but there were also some good things about it. It was actually a pretty wild time. I remember the 1970's being pretty bad with crime in NYC, but again it was kind of great too… Punk Rock, Studio 54 etc. As for this decade, I cannot think of a single redeeming feature other than perhaps that medical science will advance to allow everyone to 100 (which means an extra 30 years of misery). As long as our government continues to be by and for the evildoers (capitalist oligarchs) you can forget it. I feel bad for anyone who is young because you do not know what you missed. Everyone sits in front of a computer or is compulsively staring at a phone tweeting idiotic nonsense. It's really very boring. I know being 50 has a lot to do with my complete hatred of the way things are, but this decade SUCKS….and I liked the 90's a lot.

  9. 9
    Dhritiman Sharma says:

    In my opinion, 1990s

  10. 10
    Carter says:

    I would say the 40's is the worst. My favorites are the 60's, 70's, and 80's. I don't much care for the 21st century though.

  11. 11
    Rey says:

    2000 would be the worst decade because of about 30 Trillion spent without any sign of recovery. It will extremely hard for the US to recover again.



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