BOOM to BUST By Joey Vaitkus

1920s -1930s

Home Life

Top images: 1920; Families sitting by radio, everyone is together and they seem happy. Bottom: 1930; Small shaggy houses, dirty clothes, unsanitary and miserable.
Top: 1920; Ladies are happy, enjoying themselves and doing what they want. Bottom: 1930; women sad dirty and not happy or enjoying themselves.
Top: 1920; music, happiness, with segregation still around and protests. Bottom: 1930; miserable, dirty, and segregated even in hard times.

During the Roaring Twenties era people had the time of their lives. The husband would go off to work and earn money for the family as the woman stayed home and cleaned the expensive house or took care of the children. A house in the twenties had to most expensive and new things and gadgets making life easy. When the depression hit families had to sell everything they had. Families moved to Hoovervilles and lives in dumps compared to their previous homes. They couldn’t afford the fancy things they had in their old homes and now had to work and struggle to earn enough money for food. African Americans had to sell all of their land from sharecropping and moved North. African Americans suffered even more than whites because even in hard times, segregation still existed.

Economy

Top: 1920; Stock market booming, busy streets, and business flourished. Bottom: 1930; people struggling, suffering, and poor. The economy is ruined.
Top: 1920; Stock market flourishing, stockbrokers rich and making money every second. Bottom: People panicking and trying to sell everything for some money.
Top left: Farm family in front of barn. Top right: Family moving North for better opportunities. Middle left: Farm land in the Midwest. Middle right: Aftermath of a dust storm. Bottom right: Dust storm about to hit a town.

During the 1920s the American economy was doing great. Businessmen and industrialists were flourishing and people loved the idea of credit. The stock market and stockbrokers were doing well as almost everyone in America had invested in stock. People were abusing credit and buying too many stocks too fast. The banks were loaning out more money than they had. When the value of stocks dropped, people panicked and sold their stocks which made the value drop further. When people went to withdraw money from their saving accounts the bank did not have any money to give them because they loaned it all to other investors who lost all of their money so they couldn’t pay back the loans. The economy went downhill from there. Farmers had it rough as well. In the 1920s crop prices dropped and farmers had no money. Then in the 1930s dust storms formed and destroyed the land leaving them with nothing except piles of dirt and sand.

Role of Government

Top: Big Business doing well. Business owners standing(left). Large factory(right). Bottom: men standing in line looking for work because factories have no money or closed.
Top left/middle: Cartoons of President Hoover giving up and putting the country's problems on Roosevelt. Top right/middle left/bottom left: President Roosevelt taking action and saving the country. Bottom right: Veterans protesting at the white house because of Hoover's Bonus army.

During the 1920s the government followed a Laissez Faire policy allowing Big Business to take control and for the government to stay out of the country's problems. With this policy the country went into the depression and the economy sank. Hoover made matters worse with his Bonus Army, paying veterans money for fighting in the war. He promised them their money in a few years but veterans wanted it now and protested at the white house. Finally the country had hope when President Roosevelt was elected into office. He proposed a New Deal to save the country and get things under control. First he had a four day bank holiday to get the banks back up and running and to inform the public about what is going on through his Fireside Chats. During these chats he would inform the public about what he is doing and that they needed to trust his and cooperate. Roosevelt got rid of the Laissez Faire policy and got the country going in the right direction.

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