In recent years, the theme of the crisis of capital and its spatial and geographical reorganization at the international level has become the focus of much attention. Literature on hegemony at the international level, which associates capitalist crises and the worldwide reorganization of capital with changes in international power relations, may offer a contribution to more concrete analyses. In particular the historical analyses offered by Giovanni Arrighi (influenced by Fernand Braudel) and other World System Theorists (e.g. Immanuel Wallerstein) have sought to show that crises and capitalism's uneven development have a significant impact on a nation state’s hegemony, whereby for Wallerstein they tended to weaken hegemons, while for Arrighi they even brought about terminal crises of world hegemons and the simultaneous rise of new ones. Yet the latter approaches have limitations: their theoretical understanding of capitalism and crises brings economic analysis back to an ‘initial, but still handicapped criticism of bourgeois economy’ [Marx]; whereas their understanding of hegemony, while appropriately contrasting the meaning given to it by Neo Gramscians (Robert Cox et al), still remains trapped in dualistic notions of the concept as opposed to the dialectical meaning given to it by Gramsci. As a result also the relation amongst the two, crises and hegemony, remains underdeveloped. This paper seeks to present an alternative understanding of the relation between crises and hegemonic transitions, starting from an analysis of capitalism and its crises based on Marx’s ‘Capital’ and of hegemony based on the reading of Gramsci’s ‘Quaderni’. The theoretical framework thus elaborated is then applied to the case of the Great Depression.