Boom to Bust By gianna socci

The 1920s was similar to a decade long party for the majority of the country. The economy was booming, people were finding wealth, having fun and relaxing in the security that these good times would last forever. Though, slight problems surfaced throughout the 1920s but were ignored. Once the stock market crashed, that signaled the economic decline that our country was about to face. The 1930s brought with it despair, unemployment, failed businesses and a complete contrast from the prospering decade before it.


Economic boom allows people to become rich

The Economy of the 1920's was booming which enabled many people to become wealthy and dress in expensive attire.

The Great Depression left people unemployed

The Economy was failing during the 1930s. People were unemployed and businesses were closed due to failure.

Blacks face unfair economic treatment

Blacks faced unfair treatment in their homes and the economy during the 20s. Many protested against the lack of equality.

Blacks Protest inequality in the economy

Blacks faced many economic challenges throughout the 1930s. They were treated unfairly, always being the last hired, first fired and usually the ones with the greatest wage cuts.

Farmers were left with a surplus of crops

The farming economy was seeing failure as farmer were left with a large quantity of goods, dropping their crop prices.

Farmers had to sell their homes and belongings

The farming economy was destroyed as they continued to lose money, while the dust bowl ruined homes, forcing them to abandon their land.

During the 1920s the economy became consumer oriented which allowed for factories and business to strive. Plus, the stock market was soaring and everyone invested. Not much later, the market crashed and billions of dollars were lost. When the depression hit, businesses all over closed, forcing workers to be laid off. People had no money to buy goods, so stores had no consumers and shut down. President Hoover's efforts to pull the economy out of the depression were minimal. He was against direct relief and instead helped businesses, which provided little to no help. FDR's efforts through his “New Deal” did much more aid to those struggling. Despite his more affective attempts, the only thing to fully pull America out of this economic decline was a second world war. For African Americans, unfair treatment in the economy upheld itself as it did in the 1920s. They were the last hired and the first fired at their jobs and received less financial aid than whites. The farming economy was already in distress prior to the Depression. Crop prices were at a low, and many farms were foreclosed on. Then, with the Depression, their crop prices went even lower and more farms failed. And endless drought caused the Dust Bowl, which killed most of the crops, and ruined their homes. The farming economy was destroyed and most of them left to find a better job.

Home Life

Families relax at home listening to radio programs

Home life was simple and fun during the 1920s. Many families were rich in conveniences and very wealthy.

Citizens live in Hoovervilles

During the Depression, families lived in poverty-stricken "neighborhoods" called Hoovervilles. They built makeshift homes out of scrap materials.

Blacks face segregation at home

Blacks faced discrimination and segregation at home during the 1920s. Usually they had to use separate water fountains, live in separate neighborhoods and deal with a multitude of other race separations.

African Americans face challenges

African Americans struggled like the rest of the nation during the Depression, losing jobs, money and homes, but they faced harsher treatment by others around them. They lived in tents with extremely poor conditions.

Farmers are forced to sell

With the decline in crop prices throughout the 20s, many farmers fell into poverty and did not have the money to continue to afford their property. Due to this, farms faced foreclosure.

Dust bowl strikes the Great Plains

Frightening dust storms hit the Great Plains, destroying farms, crops and homes. Farmers' lives were completely changed, as all they had was ruined.

In cities during the 1920s, where the majority of the population lived, people felt optimistic as success and wealth was gained. When the Depression hit, the country was faced with severe poverty. Workers were fired and no longer able to support their family. They lost their homes and had to sell their belongings. The working and middle classes adjusted to this standard of living. Preserving meals and making their own clothes were ways these families “made do.” Poorer families lived in communities called Hoovervilles. They made unsanitary homes out of scraps of various materials. Families commonly visited soup kitchens to get a meal, yet many still starved. The wealthy portion of society ignored the Depression as their lives were unaffected. Life for African Americans during this time was full of challenges. They struggled similarly to the rest nation plus other conflicts. Throughout the Depression blacks continued to face intense discrimination and segregation. Farmers struggled during the 1920s as they fell into poverty due to the surplus of crops they had. Also during this time, farmers overused the land, breaking up the topsoil, allowing it to be easily picked up by wind. When the Depression came, farmers faced disaster with the occurrence of the Dust Bowl. Farms went into foreclosure, crops were destroyed, and some farmers fell ill and died. With almost nothing left but ruined farms and dust, farmers abandoned their land, taking the name as migrants, and left. Many took on “riding the rails” to look for better work opportunities.

Leisure Time

Dancing the night away

People of the 1920s embraced the ideas of making the most of their lives. They enjoyed adventuring to clubs and speakeasies to dance, hear music, and have a good time.

More time, more things to do

Throughout the 1920s, Business owners, women, and anyone who wanted to have a good time, frequently visited the cinema to see movies. With modern conveniences to help around the house, more time could be spent doing more enjoyable things.

Popular method of entertainment

People of the Depression still found ways to have fun and escape the despair; one of these distractions being the radio. Families huddled around to hear a variety of programs like comedies, dramas, music, and Roosevelt's "fireside chats."

The sweet sounds of jazz

Throughout the 1920s, blacks showcased their talents in the form of arts. They provided their nation with the popular music, "jazz."

Still lifting spirits

Blacks continued to entertain and lift feelings of sadness by playing jazz. Whether playing in a club or on a street corner, the African Americans still played and people still enjoyed their music.

Throughout the 1920s, there was a huge increase in leisure activities as people had more money and time to do more things. Parties were thrown, people enjoyed music and dancing at clubs, while sporting events and the movies were visited frequently as well. With the embrace of Prohibition, speakeasies were visited by many. The Great Depression left Americans with little options for fun, yet people made do, and found ways to escape their problems. Americans, in particular, business owners, workers ,and their families, watched movies at the cinema. They did this much less often than in the past. Music was still greatly enjoyed and people still gathered with their friends to dance. Throughout the Great Depression, people played board games and the radio flourished. Families gathered around to hear music, dramas, President Roosevelt's “Fireside Chats” and more. Throughout the 1920s, African Americans provided the nation with jazz. They continued to lift spirits throughout the hopeless days of the Depression by playing music. Blacks escaped their troubles by playing the tunes and those listening felt a sense of relief as well.

Role of Government

3 Republican Presidents

The three Republican presdients of the 1920s chose to embrace a laissez-faire approach and avoided interfering in peoples lives. The government role was limited and had little activity.

A New Begining

When Roosevelt was elected he promised a "New Deal,' which delivered programs to help those struggling as forms of relief, recovery and reform.

Government ceases to aid African Americans

African Americans received little to no government help throughout the 1920s while they struggled with severe discrimination and segregation.

Acknowledging African Americans

Despite the lack of efforts to help them, Roosevelt did bring African Americans into higher levels of government, creating an all black cabinent.

Helping the Agricultural Sector

During the depression the "New Deal" gave help to the agricultural portion of America. Roosevelt created the AAA and the CCC to help farmers.

The role of government had an extreme transformation. Under Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, limited government activity occurred, laissez faire was embraced, and the American people were left to fend for themselves. Unlike the 1920s, President Roosevelt made it the government's duty to care for the well being of its citizens. His “New Deal” consisted of relief, recovery and reform programs to aid and help those in the Depression. Before Roosevelt though, Hoover's efforts were weak as he did little to help the American People. He gave government help to only banks and businesses thinking it would end up helping citizens. This angered many people. Protests occurred; one of the biggest protests was the bonus army. Men, veterans, and their families marched the streets declaring they need to receive the money the government promised. As blacks were minorities, they received little to no help throughout both decades. Most New Deal programs did not treat blacks and whites equally. Roosevelt did bring them into higher roles of government, though. Anti-lynching and segregation laws were denied and Roosevelt was inconsistent in the civil Rights Department. Farmers received no government help throughout the 1920s but did during the Great Depression. The government passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act, to help with the large surplus of crops farmers were faced with. FDR also created the Civilian Conservation Corp. which hired young men and gave them work, food, and housing.

Though some parts of these two decades remained constant America endured many changes as we went from boom to bust. From the economic decline to the increased size of government, changes were abundant. Some for better, and some for worse.

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