Boom to Bust A visual essay documenting Economy, Home Life, Role of government, and leisure time for women and farmers within the 1920s and 1930s.

The economy of the 1920s and 1930s

For many Americans the 1920s was a time of great economic opportunity. Their was a rise in consumerism, industry was thriving, and there was a booming stock market. The prosperous times came to an end in October 1929 when the Stock Market crashed and people lost millions. During the Great Depression Businesses were closed, and there was an enormous rise of unemployment. President Herbert Hoover did nothing to help those in need, which lead to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt changed the way that citizens viewed their Government by creating programs that providing relief to those who were suffering during the Depression. Despite the efforts Roosevelt made the economy did not fully recover until World War II.

The Economy Specific to Farmer's and Women During the 1920s and 1930s

Due to the decreased demand and prices of farm products, the 1920s was a time of great despair for farmers. During the 1930s a severe drought occurred, and the prices of farm products continued to fall resulting in farmers suffering even more. In the 1920s and the 1930s women were employed in areas that men did not want such as nursing, sales, clerical work and house cleaning. Fields dominated by women were not as affected by the Great Depressions; within these fields women had a slight edge over men.

The Agricultural Economy of the 1920s Suffered

During the 1920s the farming industry suffered do to the falling prices and demand of farm products. Farmers lost their farms to foreclosures due to accumulation of debt.

The Agricultural Economy Did not improve during the 1930s

The picture above shows two poor farm workers in Alabama in the 1930s. After the 1920s the prices of farm products continued to drop.

In the 1920s and the 1930s women were employed in areas that men did not want such as nursing, sales, clerical work and house cleaning. Fields dominated by women were not as affected by the Great Depressions; within these fields women had a slight edge over men.

How the Economy effected Women In the 1920s and 1930s

During the 1920s and the 1930s women were employed in areas that men did not want such as nursing, sales, clerical work and house cleaning. Fields dominated by women were not as affected by the Great Depressions; within these fields women had a slight edge over men.

Home Life in the 1920s and 1930s

Homelife during the 1920s in the city was drastically different from previous years. People were able to obtain items such as cars, refrigerators, and dishwashers because they were able to buy items on credit, and pay the price of the item of over time. These convenience items made their lives much easier than they were before. City dwellers were able to find and maintain jobs and support their families. Wealthy people continued to live their luxurious lifestyle while others suffered. The middle class, and working class citizens that maintained an income worked hard to keep their lives as normal as possible. The poor often lived in Hoovervilles, shantytowns with houses made of any materials that people could gather. The poor often visited soup kitchens so that they would not go hungry.

Home Life for Women and Farmers

Home life for farmers was strenuous in the 1920s. farmers had to make enough revenue to pay off their debt and pay their taxes. With the fall of the prices of farm products this task was extremely difficult because the farmers had to produce an abundance of farm products to keep their farms from being foreclosed. During the 1930s the Dust Bowl worsened the farmers suffering. The dust storms destroyed crops and were capable of killing people and animals. As a result of the dust storms, one quarter of the population of people affected by the dust bowl abandoned their land and moved west to California. Farmers often rode the rails by illegally boarding freight trains and getting off when the trains stopped. In the 1920s women made an incredible amount advancements in feminine issues including the passage of the 19th amendment which allowed women to vote. Women began to obtain equal opportunity as men and because of this women began to be not seen as housewives, but rather contributing members of society. In the 1930s this new feminine way of thinking disappeared. Due to the waning support of women's rights people regained the traditional belief that women belonged at home. At home women had to complete task such as “cut corners” by sewing their own clothes and “make do” by cooking their own food and recycling leftovers to make new meals.

Foreclosure of Farms

For farmers Home life was extremely difficult during the 1930s and the 1920s. Farmers had to produce enough in order to pay off debt and pay their taxes. Failure to do so resulted in the foreclosure of farms.

The Dust Bowl

Above is a dust storm during the 1930s. The Dust Bowl, or an area of Oklahoma, Kansas, and northern Texas affected by severe soil erosion (caused by windstorms) in the early 1930s made farmers home lives extremely difficult. The destructive dust storms forced many farmers to move westward to California.

The Physical Effect of the Dust Bowl on Farmers

Above is a picture of a child coughing as a result of dust pneumonia. Dust pneumonia caused individuals to caught so the body could rid itself of dust. The disease is a result of prolonged exposure to dust.

Black Blizzard

Above a car is fleeing a severe dust storm. These dust storms were often referred to as "black blizzards."

Riding the Rails

Refugees of the Dust Bowl road the rails, meaning they illegally boarded trains. When the trains stopped they would get off and look for work.

In the 1920s women made an incredible amount advancements in feminine issues including the passage of the 19th amendment which allowed women to vote. Women began to obtain equal opportunity as men and because of this women began to be not seen as housewives, but rather contributing members of society. In the 1930s this new feminine way of thinking disappeared. Due to the waning support of women's rights people regained the traditional belief that women belonged at home. At home women had to complete task such as “cut corners” by sewing their own clothes and “make do” by cooking their own food and recycling leftovers to make new meals.

Homelives of Women in the 1920s

Women during the 1920s made incredible advancements in feminine issues including the passage of the 19th amendment which allowed women to vote. Women began to not be seen as just housewives but rather contributing members of society.

Home Lives of Women in the 1930s

In the 1930s the support for women's rights faded and as a result people regained the traditional belief women belonged at home and not at the work place. The picture of the women above shows a women "cutting corners", the women is sewing cloths instead of buying them.

In the 1920s the government embraced Laissez Faire policy or a policy of letting things take their own course, without interfering. The government did nothing to relieve the suffering of farmers. After the long suffering of farmers the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 was passed which set limits on the size of the crops and the herds farmers could produce. This law helped the prices of farm products stop decreasing. Franklin D. Roosevelt also created the Civilian Conservation Corps which hired people to assist in disaster relief.

Role of Government in the 1920s and 1930s

In the 1920s the government embraced Laissez Faire policy or a policy of letting things take their own course, without interfering. Laissez Faire policy was pro business because businesses were not regulated and they could do as they pleased. President Herbert Hoover failed the American people because he used Laissez Faire policy at a time when the American people needed the government to intervene. In 1932 20,000 veterans called the “Bonus Army” marched to receive early payment from the government. Hoover denied the veterans’ request and responded with violence.

The Role of Government for Women and Farmers in the 1920s and 1930s

Until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the government did nothing to relieve the suffering of farmers. Roosevelt promised a “New Deal” for the American Citizens, he would create laws that directly relieve the suffering of people during the Great Depression After the long suffering of farmers the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 was passed which set limits on the size of crops and the herds farmers could produce. This law helped the prices of farm products stop decreasing. Franklin D. Roosevelt also created the Civilian Conservation Corps which hired people to assist in disaster relief. The abandonment of Laissez Faire policy benefited women as well. Eleanor Roosevelt used her position as first lady to help advance women's rights by urging her husband to hire women in government positions.

The Three Republican Presidents of the 1920s

Above are the three Republican presidents of the 1920s. Under their presidency the government embraced Laissez Faire policy, or a policy of letting things take their own course, without interfering.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

When the Great Depression began in 1929, laissez-faire policy did not benefit those who were suffering. People became angry at Herbert Hoover for not giving government aid to those in need. As a result of Hoovers failure, in 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected as the president of the United States. Roosevelt promised to abandon laissez-faire and to take action that would improve peoples lives.

Civilian Conservation Corps

Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps which provided jobs to those in need and assisted in disaster relief.

Agricultural Adjustment Act

The Federal government passed the Agricultural Adjustment act of 1933 in order to keep farmers from producing too much and thus driving down the prices of farm products. The farmers were paid to limit production by the government.

The new role of government benefited women as well. Eleanor Roosevelt used her position as first lady to help advance women's rights by urging her husband to hire women in government positions.

Eleanore Roosevelt

The new change in the role of government benefited women as well. Eleanor Roosevelt used her position as first lady to help advance women's rights by urging her husband to hire women in government positions.

Leisure Time of Women and Farmers in the 1920s and 1930s

During the 1920s women in the city spent their leisure time partaking in activities such as attending sporting events, listening to jazz, dancing at clubs. During the 1920s people had to go to speakeasies to get alcohol because of Prohibition, which banned the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. Women had more time to do these activities because modern inventions helped them with work that previously would had taken them much longer When the stock market crashed in 1929 women living in the city did not have sufficient funds to partake in enjoying an evening out. Women living during the 1930s escaped the misery of their lives by watching movies, listening to radio, reading books, and listening to music. Although farmers did not have access to some of these activities they could still read books.

Entertainment of the 1920s

People living during the 1920s often listened to jazz during their leisure time.

Speakeasy

A common way people spent their leisure time during the 1920s was visiting speakeasies.

A Movie Theater in the 1930s

People living during the great depression did not have the funds to partake in the activities they did in the 1920s. Common things people did on their leisure time during the Great Depression include watching movies, listening to radio, reading books, and listening to music.

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