Economic Situation for Bankers
In the 1920's, the stock market boomed. The economy was extremely successful, and people filled their bank accounts with their life savings. Everyone loved the rush of buying stock, because of the thrilling gamble you were making. Some people thought the decade was too good to be true, but not everyone expected the rush to take a sudden stop.
The 1920's was an era of thrill and excitement, and not too many people saw the stock market crash of 1929 coming. When the stock market crash came, everyone rushed around frantically, in hopes of getting at least enough money back to live off of. They ran to the banks only to find that their money was not physically there.
Many people were distressed by the fact that when they went to the bank, they could not get all their money out at once. They couldn’t grasp the concept that their money was not physically being stored in the bank, but it was actually being used.
These people did not realize that when they put their money in the bank, it wasn’t locked away somewhere, but it was actually being used. Thus, when the money could not be dealt out, people panicked. The bankers were overwhelmed with crowds demanding money, and everything turned into chaos.
Home Life for Women
Up until the very end of the 1920's, men usually earned money for their families, and women would complete household chores, clean, etc. Although, if a women did work, she could be quite confident with her steady job not being taken away, because women commonly filled spots such as nurses and school teachers, which were very unlikely to be men's jobs.
When the depression hit, most women with jobs meant for women kept their jobs, because men would rarely have the option fill these positions then. Although, women in jobs that could be filled by either a man or women were at stake. Thus, the Great depression did not effect women in jobs mainly for women, but it did have an impact on those in jobs like factory jobs, which can be done by either gender.
Leisure Time of Women
During the roaring twenties, it was not uncommon to see flappers roaming the streets. A flapper is a young woman intent on enjoying herself, and to do so, she dresses in short dresses and wears extra makeup and jewelry. Instead of doing extra housework and cleaning, these women spent their time having more fun during the 1920's.
Not only women, but whole families, escaped from the Great Depression by listening to the radio. The radio was a common way to spend your time while being both informed and entertained. A very popular radio station was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chat" station, through which he would talk to the nation in a comforting tone, and tell them everything was going to be okay.
Another form of entertainment during the Great Depression was visiting the theater. During such an awful time, people just wanted to escape from all their issues and find entertainment for a while. The theater was a cheap way for them to get their minds off things.
Leisure Time of Mexican Americans
During the 1920's, Mexican Americans usually filled the job of a migrant worker. This job was not considered to be very good, and during this era, no one else would consider taking it. Thus, Mexican Americans thought they could be confident in keeping their jobs.
When the Great Depression hit, and everyone was loosing their jobs, people looked for any work they could get. The job of a Migrant Worker, which was looked down upon in the 1920's, was now longed for by the jobless. When white men would come to look for work as a migrant worker, they would usually get it, which means they were pushing the Mexican Americans out of jobs they used to mock.
Leisure Time of African Americans
The Harlem Renaissance marked an important era in history, where blacks were beginning to be accepted in society. During the twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, African Americans spent most of their time having fun-playing music, dancing, etc.
During the Great Depression, although, this fun vibe vanished. Blacks searched for work, which put them behind whites in the line for jobs. They had basically no shot at work, because so many whites were looking for work too. Jobs that required no skill were the only ones African Americans would get, that is, if they even managed to find one available.
Role of Government for Businesses
Before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, there was no government regulation on business. The Laissez Faire policy was in play, which meant businesses had complete control over what they did. Because the constitutional amendment prohibiting child labor was not ratified when proposed in 1924, child labor still existed and was not being stopped. This meant unfair treatment of laborers and harsh conditions.
After the Crash, the government began increasing its role in government regulation. The New Deal was created, under which help was granted to the jobless. Food banks were open to those who could not get food themselves, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) made new jobs to be filled by anyone. These jobs were not only helping more people make a living, but they were tasks such as building dams or working on national parks, which helped improve the infrastructure of America.
Boom to Bust Visual Essay Project-Narrative
The Roaring Twenties led Americans to believe that they lived in a fantasy, for just about everything was a party in this era. Only a few people used slight clues in the economy to foreshadow the Stock Market Crash of 1929, because almost everyone was still stuck in their festivity.
The Stock Market crashed on October 29, 1929 marking the beginning of the Great Depression which was unexpected by many. Previously, in the 1920’s, the stock market was booming, and people invested in stock rapidly. The confidence of Americans in their gambling skills increased, because most stocks that were bought earned them money. The only issue with their constant buying of stocks was that most people bought stock with credit. This basically meant it was imaginary money, hoped to be paid back soon. Because everyone was buying with credit, it got to a point where no one’s credit was backed up by real money. Thus, the stock market reached its breaking point and crashed. Anyone who bought unsuccessful stocks on credit had no money on them, which is why they used credit. When people rushed to the banks to get back even the slightest bit of saved money, bankers could not grant their wishes. They were overwhelmed, because not everyone’s money was actually in the bank. The bankers had to deny people’s requests to get their money back, which upset them greatly. Everyone was devastated by the fact that they could not have their life savings back from the banks they thought they could trust. The stock market crash of 1929 put loads of pressure on the banks and bankers that worked there.
Although there was great change in the stock market from the early 1920’s to 1929, there was not much change for many women in the working class. Women that had good quality jobs in the 1920’s were nurses, school teachers, etc. These jobs were rarely filled by men, thus when the stock market crash hit, they were rather safe from being fired. Although their wages were often lowered, these women were still making an income, and every penny counted during the depression. Some women, however, worked jobs in factories, in which they could be replaced by men. After 1920 when the 19th amendment was ratified, the concept of women’s equality with men’s was established, but not quite understood by all. Therefore, women were often replaced with men. Some women’s jobs were at stake when the Great Depression hit America, while others were safe.
You could say that the party of the 1920’s was led by its edgy flappers. During this era, women became more outgoing and courageous. They began going out to dances and clubs, and places only men used to go. These women spent their time having fun, rather than doing house chores like the typical housewife was expected to do. The Great Depression ended the decade-long party, and switched the mood around. In order to make the bad times pass, women, along with many other Americans, spent their time at the theater or by the radio, to make times seem less severe. These activities “softened the blow” of the horrific Depression, and led the nation to grow back some confidence in the banking system, as well as in America as a whole.
The Laissez Faire policy was one that led the government's beliefs in interference with business. It states that the government should not set regulations for American businesses. Thus, during the 1920’s, factories and other workplaces used unfair treatment of their workers and underhanded methods of business to get ahead. Conditions of the average factory worker were cruel, and on top of that, they received very little pay. Women were often used in factories because they could be paid less, and children for their small limbs to reach into tight spaces in dangerous machinery. When the Great Depression hit and the New Deal was created, millions of jobs opened up, and the government changed their policies on regulation of business. This was one aspect of society in which improvement occurred from the 1920’s to the 1930’s.
Although the Great Depression marks an awful period in history, we have learned from our mistakes and found ways to prevent future depressions. There were many negative aspects of the era, although some led to new beginnings, like more regulation in business, and new jobs for those with no income.