20s to 30s Jonah Sikorksi

The Great Depression was the worst economic time in American history. It affected all areas of life including the government, leisure time, the economy and home life. Many groups of people were also affected including farmers, women, bankers and african Americans. Working class people were affected the most. The middle class were able to get by. The only people who were not affected were the wealthy. This was the only time when more people were leaving America than coming in.

Mother Struggling to feed and care for her chilren
Peoples houses when they lost thier houses
Farmers forced to move family and himself out off the dust bowl to escape the sand.
Wife helping her family by cleaning the clothes.

One of the major thing affected was homelife. Families still spent time together, but they had a lower standard of living. People were no longer spending money and many people were selling their belongings. After people sold their houses or were kicked out they began living in hooverville. Hoovervilles are junkey villages where poor people lived. They blamed President Hoover for their situation. Also birth rates fell and children were malnourished. One group of people who were affected were farmers. Farmer’s land was often foreclosed upon. Farmers during World War I over bought land using money they did not have. President Roosevelt made the New Deal plans to help the American people. In one of them he offered jobs to young males to help their families. Women were also affected. They returned to the home and had to be creative to keep their families from starving.

Poor farmer resting
Family spending time together
People in cars watching a movie
African American playing jazz music for entertainment

Another area that was affected was leisure time. People still went to movies and clubs to escape their problems and families listened to the radio. They had to be more creative with their forms of entertainment due to money problems. They invited friends over to listen to the radio and dance. African Americans used the arts to escaped their problems. It also help break down barrier. They used poems and music to express themselves in a way they knew how. Jazz became popular. Woman in the 1930’s became more serious. Flappers were gone and most equality to women stopped moving forward. Woman spent time as homemakers and help making ends meet.

Women working in industry to support family
People outside bank wanting money lost in bank
Poor mother with 5 children struggling to get food and work
Young adults working for the CCC

One of the major things hurt by the Great Depression was the economy. Overall there were less jobs due to businesses closing and there was not as much consumerism. There was 25% unemployment and to further these problems the stock market crashed losing billions of dollars. World War I veterans lined up outside the White House to get their bonus promised by the government. Farmers were suffering before the Depression even hit. Now prices of crops continued to drop and to further this the soil was not as rich so the crops were not even as good. One way the farmers were better off than the people of the suburbs was that they were able to supply food for their families. Woman in the 1930’s were frowned upon when they took a man’s job. They took jobs men would not want to do like nursing, sewing and sales. Woman were also more likely to get laid off. World War II turned the economy around due to the increase demand of war products.

Dust storm destroys small village
Veterans outside of White House want bonuses Mr. Hoover barricaded himself in

The role of government changed. In the 1920’s laissez faire policies were in major control of the government. After having three republican president in a row, the government was not very involved in business. After President Roosevelt was elected he proposed the New Deal. It was a group of programs that were meant to relief, recovery and reform the economy and American people. President Roosevelt also closed all banks that were not competent and the FDIC was created to make bankers tell the truth. Woman had Eleanor Roosevelt to encourage opportunity for women in government, but still the government focused on getting men back to work. Through this time women's equality did not progress.

People in the dust bowl using masks to breath clean air
Eleanor Roosevelt around the 1930s
FDR around the 1930s

Overall the Great Depression hit America hard. All aspects of life of most Americans were affected. It was a time of great sorrow and uncertainty. Even though President Roosevelt helped America, it was not until World War II until America became strong again and began to trust the government.

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