The Great Depression majorly impacted lives in America. It created a diversion to many groups of people in all aspects of society. It changed American homes, leisure time, economy, and the role of the government. Specifically, the depression affected groups such as farmers, Mexican immigrants, African Americans, women, bankers/stockbrokers, and business owners/industrialists.
The first aspect of society that the depression influenced was home life. People went from living comfortable and carefree to barely being able to survive. The city and social classes were affected differently. While the wealthy were barely affected, the middle working class had to make adjustments due to pay cuts and job loss. People needed to find a way to make money even if it meant selling apples on the street. The poor were majorly affected. Most poor people lost their homes and were forced to live in shanty towns called Hoovervilles and their only source of food was from soup kitchens. Unable to deal with these issues, many men ran away from their marriages tearing families apart. Many people rode the rails or illegally jumped on trains to get away. Farmers had already been struggling since after the first World War and the Great Depression period was no exception. Due to irresponsible farming, dust storms started to arise in the Great Plains, killing cattle, crops, and even people as a result of dust pneumonia. These conditions forced farmers to evacuate and move to California. The farmers were not welcome and were forced to work on work camps to stay alive. Mexican immigrant’s were also greatly affected. If an immigrant held a job, society saw it as one less job for an American. This resulted in hostility towards Mexican immigrants and many of them were deported.