Boom to Bust By: Emily Pitcher

The economy was booming in the 1920s until 1929 when the stock market crashed. This affected the 1930s because everyone was out of money. The demand for manufactured goods declined. Businesses in the industry closed, so workers lost their jobs and families did not have money for food or consumer products. The agricultural economy also suffered as President Roosevelt tried to bring up the economy by his ideas of reform, recovery, and relief. Many women had jobs at this time and many people saw them as money grubbers who were stealing jobs from men. Women also struggled for equality because their wages were cut first in industry or they got fired first, but they played important roles that went unrecognized. Farmers were pretty much doing the same that they did in the 1920s. The demand for farm products still dropped, except now there was a severe drought in the Great Plains, so they could barely grow crops anyways.

Buying on a Margin.

Americans bought a lot of stocks in the 1920s because the economy was booming.

The Crash

Banks closed in the 1930s because nobody had money anymore and they took what they had left out of banks. This caused banks to have no money.

In the 1920s, families were having the times of their lives by spending their plentiful amount of money while partying. However, in the 1930s, many families were in poverty and had to sell many items to get money such as their belongings, cars, and even homes. This caused many families to migrate to California or live in Hoovervilles. Although the wealthy were not affected by the big change, while middle- class, working people tried to make life as normal as possible. At this time, the divorce rate was constant, therefore single mothers had to get a job, but many people believed that they belonged in the home. If women did have husbands, then their husbands pay got cut. This caused the women’s role in the household to enhance because they had to everything they could to make ends meet. The women “cut corners” by sewing their own clothes and making their own bread. Farmers had more of an advantage than city living Americans because farmers could grow their own food, which saved money. However, they soil wasn’t fertile anymore which meant it was dry. There were also dust storms that covered the crops and buried houses, which made farmers abandon their land.

An Average Home

This is an average home that an average American could afford in the 1920s.


In the 1930s, most Americans were forced to live in Hoovervilles, which consisted of calling a run down shack their home.

The whole decade of the 1920s was spent having fun and being entertained, while fighting over what they believed in. The fights, or clashes, happened over prohibition, creationism, and much more. After everyone lost their money in the 1930s, however, Americans could barely afford dinner for themselves. But, people still used movies, music, and art to escape the hardships they were facing. All americans across the country felt comforted by President Roosevelt’s fireside chats that were on the radio. Often women were stuck doing housework, but on a special occasion, they were able to go out on the town and dance with their friends. Farmers also got away from the hard work by going to see a movie or just relaxing, although that was tough to do.


Entertainment in the 1920s consisted of jazz, movies, dancing in speakeasies, and other activities among that standard.

The Clash of Prohibition

Americans were split into two groups in the 1920s. One thing that these groups fought over was prohibition.

The Same Entertainment

In the 1930s, the entertainment was pretty much the same as in the 1920s, except it was a treat because most Americans could not afford to go out on the town by themselves.

In the 1920s, the government used the laissez faire policy, which meant that the government could not interfere with businesses or the free market. Then, in the 1930s, President Hoover still believed in little government involvement, but Americans felt that the government was responsible to help them with their problems. When FDR became President, he became more involved with the people by creating acts and ideas to reshape the economy with reform, relief, and recovery. Some people even thought that President Roosevelt was too active in social issues. The government helped farmers in the 1930s because there were bills and acts passed that helped them set limits on the size of crops for surplus. Farmers also got checks from the government that helped pay back debts and tax payments. Women also got help in the 1930s. Eleanor Roosevelt made advancements to women’s rights after they had been stalled for awhile by having her husband appoint women to government positions.

Laissez Faire

The 1920s government was not involved with businesses because of the laissez faire policy.

Fire Side Chats

President Roosevelt comforted Americans by talking to them on the radio. His words gave them confidence, as he was more involved with the citizens of America.


Women were freely living life in the 1920s and had lots of fun being flappers or just regularly dancing.

Women in Jobs

In the 1930s, many women in America had jobs or they fought for jobs because there were actually many women who were single mothers, who had to support for their family.

Farmers Struggles

Farmers did not do so well economically after World War I and many of their farms got taken foreclosed.

Dust Storms

There was a big drought in the Great Plains and this created dust storms. Dust Storms were really dangerous and they buried houses. Many farmers had to leave their land because of these.


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