Determination to Destruction How America was changed in the 1930s

Home Life

Everything changed when the Great Depression started in 1929. Even people’s lives at home were affected. Women’s lives at home were especially affected. In the 1920s, women took on a larger role in families and in society. When the 1930s came, all of that was lost. Women took on the secondhand role that they had before the 1920s. They took control of the more family oriented tasks, and men usually worked. Women at the time also had to start being more conscious of the meals served, and had to sew their own clothes. Another group who had their home life changed was African Americans. In the twenties, they gained respect in society and a positive reputation. In the 1930s, it was another story. African Americans were usually the first to lose jobs, lost their good reputations, and were pushed away from white society. Racial tension increased, and everything became bad for African Americans. They did, however, gain political power because of President Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet.”

From big to small

Young women in the 1920s wore daring and expensive clothing. This quickly changed in the depression.

Searching for work

Women had to care of their families and themselves. Sometimes, they had to do it alone.

African Americans at home

African Americans were neglected and often live in poor conditions

Leisure Time

Time spent doing other activities was also severely changed in the Great Depression. Women were greatly affected again, as they usually had to support their families. While husbands were away at work, women would be working very hard. Most of the washing had to be done by hand, food had to be made at home, and clothes were usually sewn by hand. It was not always like this. In the twenties, women had more time to spend with their families because of technology like the washing machine. Families would also go out to eat more often, as they had more money and time. Farmers were also affected. They had much less time to enjoy activities during the depression. Many farmers were moving west to escape the horrors of the Dust Bowl, a time when dust filled the dry air of the great plains. Farmers had to work a lot harder, because their was very little water and bad farming conditions.

Entertainment at home

This family is listening to the radio, one of the few enjoyable activities that could be done at home during the depression

Homemade ammenities

Families learned to use what they had to "make do" during the period

Life in the "Hoovervilles"

Many poor families moved to "Hoovervilles" because they lost their homes during the great depression


The economy was also greatly affected in the Great Depression. In the 1920s, there was a time of economic prosperity, but also a time of great economic irresponsibility. Many people lost a lot of money in the stock market crash of 1929. Bankers and brokers experienced this firsthand. They were very irresponsible with money. They gave loans that people could not afford, and made millions as more people went to them for financial needs. By the 1930s, many brokers and bankers were out of work and broke. Business owners were also affected by the economy in the 1930s. In the 1920s, business thrived, and companies made a lot of money. By the 1930s, however, business took a big blow. Many workers were laid off, and businesses were forced to close. Small businesses were hit the worst. Large businesses were not affected.

Forced to sell

People had to sell everything to get some money to provide for themselves and family

Dinner in the depression

People who lost everything went to food kitchens to have a full meal during the week

Free Food

In the 1930s, soup kitchens like this one would provide food for people in need

Go big or go homeless

Many people had no place to stay, as they lost their homes and had no money. They usually ended up on streets.

Any job for the average Joe

People working in every field lost jobs in the depression

Work is westbound

As people moved west in search of prosperity, they had to bring all of their belongings with them

Role of Government

Government took on a larger role in the 1930s. Mexican immigrants had to face hostility and the fear of deportation. Many Mexican immigrants worked in migrant worker camps, and got help from the government. Programs like the Farm Security Administration gave migrant workers food, housing, and safety for migrant Mexican workers. Business owners were also affected by government in the 1930s. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set regulations on business that made businesses spend the same amount of payroll tax as their employees. In the 1920s, business was not as controlled by the government as in the 1930s.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt informs and reassures the public

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered "Fireside Chats" to inform the public about issues and reassure them about the depression

Sorry, we're closed

More than 9,000 banks closed during the depression because people had very little money to spend. Federal programs were put into place to help the banking system

Migrant workers need jobs

Most migrant workers were laid off, and needed work. They travelled all over the country to find jobs. The government placed programs

FDR creates a "Black Cabinet"

Blacks begin to gain equal treatment in government

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