From Boom to Bust 1920s to 1930s - Jasper trinh

In just a decade, prosperity and optimism altered to hardship and despair.

The economy had started to fall, the usual cheer went to anguish, and the people of America were tested to see how they would handle a situation as big as this.

Home Life

Modern appliances that helped women cook and store their food more easily now changed into having to improvise their meals with what they have at hand.



modern convieniences

the new modern conveniences of the 1920s made it easier for women to cook, store food, etc.


A woman looked around in the refrigerator that her family and she only bought a decade ago on credit and let out a small sigh. With a limited amount of food at hand she would have to improvise the best meal she could to feed her and her family. Just in the other room aside of the kitchen she was in, her eldest daughter was hand-stitching some clothes to save some money and get by with something to wear as well.

"making do"

women learned to "make do" by sewing their own clothes and cooking their own creative meals at home.

General Public

from prosperity to hardship

with rising unemployment, people could not afford places to live resulting in people living in crudely built homes and relying on soup kitchens to feed them.

The woman began to wonder how her city of excess optimism with people leaving the old traditions behind and embracing more modern values could turn into an area with soup kitchens sprinkling the area, feeding the poor living in poorly constructed Hoovervilles. The wealthy remained unaffected in this matter and continued on with their usual everyday business as if nothing happened at all.

Just westwards of the woman, in Oklahoma, a farmer was struggling to keep all the dust from creeping into his house he just managed to keep from getting foreclosed in the past decade due to farm prices plunging downwards due to Europe not needing any more produce farmer produced. Loans needed to purchase new machines to increase production could not be paid and farmers' farms got foreclosed.




foreclosures happened plenty to farmers due to farm prices plunging.


dust storms

While the black death threatened the lives of him and his family, he knew that his house was lost in the soil that he used to plant his crops since he moved to the Great Plains. He would have to tell his family once this terrible storm was over that they were packing their bags and were going to migrate to California to live in one of those Okievilles.

dust storms ruined farmers' houses, forcing them to take refuge in other places that were mainly westward.

some farmers sought places to reside near pea camps in California in order to earn a living and to seek shelter at the time.


farmers unaffected by the dust storms could grow their own food to support their families.

“I wonder what the other farmers that don’t got this dust storm are doin’,” he muttered as he continued to press a piece of cloth underneath the door. “Probably gettin’ their own food in that good soil of theirs…”





the Harlem Renaissance was a time of artistic explosion in African-American culture with new genres of music, art, etc. appearing.

As the dust storm raged in Oklahoma, an African-American reminisced about his time in Harlem. It was almost unbelievable as creativity oozed out of everywhere you sought out. Art, music, writing, etc. made by African-Americans were what made the Harlem Renaissance possible. He listened to the jazz that was still popular at that time as he thought back to his younger days.


musical escape

even in the depressing 30s, jazz still brought people and helped them out of their problems




women known as flappers wore more daring clothing, attended speakeasies, and did wilder activities for entertainment.

The woman sat next to her radio as she looked at her family play a game of Monopoly. As her soap opera rang on in her ears, she thought about the time she was a flapper, having a great time with her friends and going to speakeasies with Prohibition enforced, much to the disappointment of their parents, but that was the reason she moved to the city. The thrill of being a small time outlaw drinking alcohol when it wasn’t allowed made her feel exhilarated. Now her entertainment contained of more family-bonding type and she enjoyed it nonetheless.


pleasurable escape

with board games like Monopoly and radio soap operas, women had activities to get lost in in the tough economic times.




because bankers and stockbrokers weren't more careful in their decisions, they disregarded the possibility of an economic downfall,

“Another bank goes…” said one former banker as he saw people rushing towards a bank with frantic and anxious looks plastered on their faces. He continued to walk down the streets of abandoned businesses as no one could afford to buy their surplus amount of goods. He was careless. The stock market flourished with success and he and mostly everybody else in America foolishly believed that nothing could cause it to plunge downwards.

He should have saw it sooner, but even if he did, it did not matter at all. Credit was one method debt could appear, and the surefire success of the market would have brought some suspicion, but it was too late. Hoover tried to help, but the stockbroker knew it would not work right away. Leaving matters to private assistance instead of trying to get the government to help plunged America into an even greater matter than it already was. Luckily, Roosevelt was elected and helped with his New Deal Programs to try to help the economy get better.


the results of carelessness

due to carelessness on bankers and stockbrokers in the 1920s, and economic downfall was not predicted and a number of banks failed.




in the 20s, women worked jobs such as teachers or nurses

As she smiled when her daughter jumped in victory from a game of Monopoly, the woman had her profession on her mind. She knew some of her friends getting degraded by people because they held jobs men would usually hold. Being a teacher herself, she got none of that assault as it was classified as a job only women could do. While thinking of her job, she soon thought of the economy as a whole. What would cause such a depression to go away?

As terrible as it might be, a war would cause the economy to go up as demand for weapons would go up and produce from farmers would be needed. Furthermore, people could have learned from the mistakes and learned not to overproduce, not invest everything in the stock market, not cause another great depression.

“Hopefully,” she thought, “this is over soon.”


not for men, but for women

women worked jobs classified as "women jobs" such as the previously mentioned teacher, nurse, and also clerical work
Role of Government



left alone

laissez-faire policies restricted the government from helping individuals, leaving farmers on their own to deal with their own problems.


aid arrives

a farmer in line receiving an AAA check for promising not to produce any more crops until necessary.

The farmer had nothing else to do but hope that the storm was over, and soon he was thinking about the three president prior to Roosevelt. Hoover, Coolidge, and Harding all supported laissez-faire and did nothing as he and countless other farmers suffered. But since it was good for businesses, they did not mind if all the individuals suffered because of their policies. But at least at that moment, he was lucky enough to receive an Agricultural Adjustment Act check for not planting any crops and also a son in the Civilian Conservation Corp, getting $30 a month. Now, he stopped and stared at the destructive storm raging just outside his house.

the CCC allowed non-military peoples (including farmers) to have a $30 per month job of planting trees, taking care of national parks, etc.



the policy

all three presidents of the 1920s supported laissez-faire policy, leaving bankers and stockbrokers to do their own thing.

The former stockbroker was still on his stroll looking for nothing particular. He thought of Hoover’s presidency, and how his attempt to fix the economy was questionable. Since he was still stuck to his moral of government cheering on from the sidelines, he left the recovery of the nation’s economy to private donations and such. He even refused to give the army the $1000 they were promised and locked himself up. Roosevelt, however, tried an actual attempt in restoring the economy, starting off with a bank holiday. After he officially closed the banks for four days, he passed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, giving bank depositors $2500 in case of if another emergency occurs.


public progress

roosevelt's interference allowed some sort of progress to be made within the economy and rebuilding people's trust.

The stockbroker silently thanked Roosevelt as well, as he knew he tried his best not only in trying to stabilize the economy, but to restore a little trust in those who were one of the main factors in this depression.

The Great Depression was a time that tested the human ability to assimilate. Improvising to create meals with ingredients, trying to keep out the dust to save them and their family, playing light-hearted games or listening to music to escape the hardships the time brought, and relying on their government for the first time. It tested the limits of the American people and it waited to see how they could fare in the time of desperation and how they were forced to live.

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