Boom to Bust By: Daniel Cao

Affected Groups during the Depression

For farmers, it was even harder than the 20s because of a severe drought, low crop prices and a surplus, and huge storms of dust otherwise known as the notorious Dust Bowl. Many farmers had had enough of the dust killing and destroying crops, animals, and equipment and moved West to California, where they hoped to find a better life. It is estimated that ¼ of these people moved out West. In California, many lived in the squalid filthy conditions of farmhouses and they along with Mexican immigrants were discriminated against and had a hard time finding work. Many Mexicans were even coerced to get on the train to be deported to Mexico.

Mexican-Americans in 1936 on a California road looking for a new job and a home, but have encountered tire trouble on route.
Farmers in the Great Plains were heavily affected economically and physically by Dust Bowl in which billowing clouds of dust from poor quality soil permeated throughout the area, burying crops, equipment, and killing animals and humans.
African-Americans found it almost impossible to find jobs because they were often the first to be laid off during the 30s and lived in harsher conditions than the average white family.
Many rich and upper class were not affected by the Depression whatsoever and the gap between the rich and the poor grew, as did their suspicion and contempt for one another. Many rich continued on with their lives in the same manner as if it were the Roaring Twenties.

Leisure Time 1920s versus 1930s


This image depicts African-Americans and white musicians having a good time playing jazz music with each other. This was a great leap for equality for blacks.
A couple dancing during the 1920s where they didn't feel a pain or worry in the world. They were only happy because they thought the prosperity would go on forever.


A family in the 1930s trying to listen to the radio and find peace and comfort during hard times while children play with toys.
A house located in a Hooverville, or a shantytown. It is clearly makeshift and poor quality and what many homeless people did to "make do" and adapt to the new conditions.
City dwellers were not spared by poverty and many once middle class or third class people became even poorer and they, including many women, spent their home life begging or selling any items they could find for cheap prices.

Before the Depression, people only did things for their welfare and pleasure, not worrying a thing about what others in society faced. People were hit in the head when the Depression happened and were forced to cooperate with other fellow Americans regardless of what social status they were before because at this point, it didn’t matter. People had to sell everything they once owned and bought on credit, persistently beg, look through trash cans, or even wait in food lines to get basic necessities such as food and water.

Role of Government 1920s versus 1930s


This cartoon shows White House officials running to the white house on an oil-stained road during the Teapot Dome Scandal, where members of the President's administration leased oil to corporations illegally.
When former World War 1 veterans demanded to receive their bonus for military service which they hadn't been paid yet, President Hoover barricaded himself in the White House and sent the army and tanks to deal with them. Several strikers died from this.


During Roosevelt's first hundred and two hundred days in office, he immediately worked to stimulate the economy and help the quality of life for individuals improve in the laws of the New Deal.
During the New Deal, Roosevelt created several groups and many new organizations under the government to help the U.S. get out of the Depression and improve the lives of Americans such as the CCC's and Social Security.
Roosevelt gave "Fireside Chats" or radio chats to Americans to instill confidence and optimism in them that together they could work together to get out of the Depression.

When Roosevelt was elected, people were charmed by his charisma and confidence and many Americans became hopeful when he passed several bills and laws attempting to help them and the economy. He was able to create groups like the CCC which was a group of proud unemployed young men who worked on construction projects and the Social Security which gave money to disabled and the elderly. Many of these acts worked but it was not enough. Still, people were happy to elect a president who acted quickly, listened to them, and soothed them via the radio. Americans were willing to work harder and despite their sadness, people worked overtime to get their nation out of the hardships.

Leisure Time

There was little happiness, only bitterness, except when people went to the movies or orchestra, went dancing, or found comfort with the radio.

A theater in the 1930s was one of the few places where people could find amusement or forget about the worries and hardships of the Great Depression, but when they went out, the Depression was still there.
Many young women and men still tried to keep up the era of prosperity by dancing but when they finished, they had to experience the gloominess of the Depression.

Economy 1920s versus 1930s

Before the Depression, people only did things for their welfare and pleasure, not worrying a thing about what others in society faced. People carelessly bought on credit while industry mass-produced goods or made risky decisions in the stock market.


Most people believed the stock market would keep going up and so many invested huge sums of money on stocks in the market. Many also bought on margin and on credit to get many of the popular items because it made the prices seem more affordable for them.
Workers in industrial centers worked in dangerous conditions to mass produce many items that people just seemed to keep buying on the assembly line, which allowed for this.


Men were forced to get any kind of job possible having been laid off or forced to stop their old jobs, to support their families. They often went on to the street to beg for jobs.
This newspaper is quite the opposite of what the newspaper in the 1920s said about the stock market. The collapse of the stock market was the result of careless and risky decisions made by brokers buying stock and misrepresenting the prices.

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