The New Deal was a series of changes put into effect by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) and the U.S. Congress (the country's law-making body) to alleviate suffering and bring an end to the Great Depression (1929-39), a period of worldwide economic hardship. The crash of the New York Stock Exchange on October 29, 1929 (called Black Tuesday), had marked the beginning of the Great Depression; yet numerous other factors contributed to the severe economic decline. Factories had produced more merchandise than they could sell. The reason being that European countries could not buy American products because they were suffering the after-effects of World War I (1914-19). Banks allowed people to borrow too much money, thus draining cash reserves. People who invested in the stock market were not prepared to lose funds if the market should take a downslide.