Boom To Bust An era of loss of hope and prosperity

The 1930's was a difficult time for for all groups of Americans. Once The Great Depression struck, all optimism and prosperity was lost. The Great Depression affected each of the groups differently.

Hoovervilles

Many people lived in these small shanty houses because it was all they could afford during the Great Depression. They were named after president Hoover for his failed presidency.

Unemplyed

A group of unemployed people wait in lines for free bread and coffee.

Families

Some families only had a mom taking care of her children. They struggled to feed their families.

Farms

Dust storms during the 1930's caused people to abandon their farms and move to California.

The home life of the average American citizen was devastating. Most Americans lived in small shanty villages called Hoovervilles. The houses were small and poor because it was all they could afford. They were named after president Herbert Hoover and his failed presidency. Most Americans were unemployed and not making money. They had to wait in long lines for free bread and coffee. During the 1920's, the home life focused on the debates over traditionalism and modernism. There was a great divide over the rural and city life as urbanization became more popular. During The Great Depression, Women learned to “make do” by cutting corners. They made simple meals with leftovers that they had. Farming in the 1920s was also difficult, and continued to be difficult in the 1930s. During the 1920s, farmers suffered surplus problems. In the 1930s, Farmers suffered of dust storms due to the drought. The dust storms caused farmers to abandon their farms and move to California. The dust storms were deadly; they wrecked houses and even killed people.

Movie Time

People enjoyed going to the movies when they could to forget what was going on in the real world.

Jazz

Americans still enjoyed the calming Jazz music which African Americans were talented at.

Family Time

Families huddled together to listen to the radio such as FDR speeches.

Dancing

Women still enjoyed dancing at clubs to forget about their problems.

During the average Americans leisure time, they spent their lives much like the 1920's. However, during the 1920's, prohibition had a huge impact on Americans and many Americans went to speakeasies. During both eras, Americans enjoyed going to the the movies. They went at least once a week when they could to forget about their real world problems. Americans still enjoyed the soothing Jazz music that broke down barriers which separated African Americans. Families often huddled together by the fire and listened to president Roosevelt's speeches through the radio during the 1930's. You could also still catch women dancing out at clubs, another way to have fun and forget about the problems for a while.

Closed Banks

FDR ordered for banks to close down as a first step to fixing the economy.

Bankers and Stockbrokers

Bankers and Stockbrokers lost their jobs and money.

Overproduction

So much money was lost they were unable to purchase factories production, and overproduction became a problem.

Business Owners

A man sleeping on a bench. Business owners got laid off and became poor.

In the 1920's, The economy was soaring and business was booming. Unlike the 1920's, however, the economy was dying in the 1930's. The economy was very poor due to the stock market crash. Investors in the stock market lost millions. Bankers and Stockbrokers were not able to collect debts, and they went bankrupt. So much money was lost; businesses were unable to purchase factories production, and overproduction became a problem. Workers were laid off in order to stay in business. The unemployment rate continued to climb.

President Elections

Roosevelt got elected as president and created the New Deals. There was improvement in the first 100 days.

New Deals To help Farmers

The government passed New Deals to help farmers such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act limiting the size of crops farmers could produce which helped surplus problems.

New Deal Jobs

New Deal Jobs opened up and improvement began.

Back to Work

The New Deal programs slowly stabilized the economy putting some people back to work.

During the 1930's, the way citizens looked to the government changed forever. Franklin D. Roosevelt won the election. For the first time in American history citizens looked to the government for help. The government affected the average American’s life. The belief that businesses should run on their own rather than by the government during the 1920's, changed. The government passed New Deals to help farmers such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act which limited the size of crops farmers could produce helped surplus problems. The New Deal programs slowly stabilized the economy putting some people back to work. The Great Depression changed the way citizens looked to the government forever. The government then affected an average citizen's day. With the Laissez Faire policy in the 1920's, Americans could hardly notice the government interfering with their everyday lives.

The Great Depression is one of the most memorable experiences in American history. The many different groups of Americans were affected differently. Most importantly, Americans learned how to survive the Great Depression which is helpful for the future. The optimism and prosperity returned. The Great Depression finally ended at the start of World War Two.

Credits:

Created with images by IMLS DCC - "Hooverville on the Seattle waterfront, ca. 1930"

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