In the 1920s, the farming industry was struggling. As industry grew during this era, the demand for farm products greatly decreased. As a result, farmers did not make much money at all in the 20s. Many lost their land and crops to foreclosure. Consumerism, however, drove up the demand for products in the cities. Business was booming due to the fact that everyone had to have the new version of a product. Because people could pay on credit, they bought more than they could afford. Everyone seemed to be buying everything, including stocks. The stock market became very popular as people believed its value would continue to grow. It did, however it was rising above its real value. Nervous investors sold their stocks while prices were still high. Prices began to fall, and in 1929, the stock market crashed, leaving thousands of people in debt and broke. As the 30s rolled in, the economy dealt with a great deal of struggle. People lost millions of dollars, businesses started to close, workers were laid off and unemployment rose. In 1933, the unemployment rate hit its highest at 25%. 16 million Americans lost their jobs. Those who had jobs noticed cutbacks in time and pay. Also, a drought started to affect rural areas and farms. Wind picked up dust and dirt and the Dust Bowl destroyed most of the Great Plains. Hoover tried to help all of these problems through private assistance and charities, however it did not make as great an impact as Roosevelt’s New Deal and public help. The agricultural economy continued to suffer as business failed instead of prospering.
People Packed Their Bags