The Roaring Twenties in comparison to the Great Depression

In the 1920's, business and government were extremely separate. This laissiz-faire policy negatively affected many, mainly farmers and laborers.

Life in the Roaring Twenties compared to life during the Great Depression is vastly different, but there were some constants throughout these eras. Leisure time, for example, didn't quite change. During the 1920's, people had lots of leisure time, due to the increase in the hiring of servants and the convenience innovations such as the washing machine. This leisure time was often spent at the cinema, or listening to the radio. Going out clubbing or listening to jazz were also popular activities. For women, they often went out to lunch with friends or went shopping. During the Great Depression, people didn't have the time nor the money to do these things too often, but the radio's popularity stayed the same, or maybe even increased. People went out in their leisure time, to go clubbing or to see a movie, occasionally. Leisure time was precious for everyone in America, and was used as a temporary escape from the troubles that plagued them. They would be temporarily be back in the 1920's, with their big houses and luxuries. African Americans were worse off than others, because even before the Depression began they weren't hired easily. They weren't as able to have luxuries such as going to the movies or going clubbing in the midst of the Great Depression. Home life in the 1920's was easy and convenient. With the invention of convenience items such as the dishwasher, and with the help of servants, women didn't have as much housework to do, so they got jobs in factories or as nurses. Houses were generally grand and for show. They were well cared-for, by the members of staff. Families could afford to be big, and couples had the funds to divorce if they needed to. In the 1930's, men would abandon their families, to search for jobs or simply because they didn't feel any obligation to stay and did not have the money for divorce. Houses were run-down shacks made of wood, scrap metal, and whatever else could be found. These shacks were found in communities called Hoovervilles. Many homeless people gathered here for shelter and help from people going through similar situations. Women were in even more competition with men for jobs typically considered "women's jobs" such as factory positions, librarian positions, and nursing positions. For African Americans, they lived in ghettos and slums even before the Depression, because of discrimination. The Depression made things worse for them, because there were less and less jobs, and many people lost their jobs. Everyone affected by the Depression in America had to learn how to make do in their home lives. During the Roaring Twenties, the government had laissiz-faire, pro-businesses policies. They didn't interfere too much with business affairs. This helped certain people like bankers and stockbrokers, which caused the economy to seemingly grow. They didn't help people, like farmers, who were financially weak. The government ignored problems like those, and they continued and even grew into the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, things were changing. In the beginning, President Hoover didn't do anything directly to help people impacted by the Depression. However, President Roosevelt implemented many programs that were meant to help relieve the people and recover and reform the economy. The Dust Bowl began in the Midwest, and many people in rural areas lost hope that the government would help them, so they either moved to cities to try and make a career, or protested. In the earlier years of the Depression, there was a group of veterans called the Bonus Army, who were promised bonuses by 1945 after WW1. When the Depression began, however, many of them wanted their money early. When the government refused to give the money to them, they protested. This was just some of the many protests that broke out during the Great Depression. Bankers and stockbrokers lost their jobs and were put into debt. They began to need the help of the government, and the government put in multiple programs to help them with their problems. There are many changes and many continuities found when the Great Depression and the Roaring Twenties are compared.

There were many strikes during the Great Depression, especially in the earlier years, when the government didn't do much to help the people affected by the Depression.
Much more help was given to the American people by the government after President Roosevelt was elected.
In the 1920's, people could afford to do many things in their leisure time, because of convenience innovations such as the dishwasher. A common thing to be done back then was to go to the movies. Some people would go to the movies two or three times a week.
In both the 1920's and the 1930's, families would gather around the radio and listen in to their favorite programs. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt used this form of media to his advantage. He started his Fireside Chats to try to calm and comfort people affected by the Depression.
This is a movie theater during the Depression. Notice that it's a lot less busy than the picture of the theater in the Roaring Twenties. This is because, during the Depression, people couldn't afford to go to the theater as often as they once did.
A family in the 1920's.

Home life in the 1920's was easy and convenient. People could afford to have many kids, and they managed them with the help of multiple servants. Convenience appliances like dishwashers and washing machines gave people more free time.

Homes in the 1920's were put together and expensive.
A family in the Great Depression.

Home life in the 1930's was difficult. When husbands couldn't take care of their families, they would often times abandon them. This was called a "poor man's divorce." Both women and men looked for jobs, so children would have to care for themselves at times.

Homes in the 1930's were too expensive to buy or keep, so many homeless people made run-down shacks in places called Hoovervilles.

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