BOOM TO BUST By Nicholas Paolella

Leisure Time-Women, African Americans


Many wealthy men and women stand in front of a theatre, waiting for the show to start. This represents how women had lots of free time in the 1920's. Part of the reason these women had such a great amount of leisure time was because they had the money to buy expensive machines and appliances that would do work at home for them.
An African american band plays during the Harlem Renaissance. The 20's was a time of social progress for African Americans. In Harlem, blacks felt free to express their creativity, and show the world how capable they really were.


Women work hard in a small shop, trying to make as much money as they can, as they will need every penny. After the 1930's, many men became distraught and left their families behind. No one could afford fancy appliances anymore. Now women had the job of doing things like washing clothes at home while also having to find a job to make a living.
A poor black family stands outside in the 1930's with now. The Great Depression was not only affecting previously wealthy white men and women, but it was also a huge deal for blacks. They became very poor and could not afford to live in semi-nice places, or have any more fun.

Economy-Business Owners/Industrialists


An ad for a washing machine in the 1920's. Business owners found problems with the world and created products that would fix them. These new products became very popular and people felt like they were all essential, going on ridiculous spending sprees because the economy was doing so well. Unemployment rates were at all time low.


A poor family sits under a makeshift tent made out of rags and tarps. After the stock market crash, Americans lost all they owned. No one was buying any products from businesses anymore, which caused them to lay off workers and eventually just shut down.

Role of Government-Bankers/Stockbrokers


1.President Herbert Hoover giving a speech regarding the stock market crash. 2. A "Hooverville" in the 1930's. When Hoover made his speech, he said that Americans should be helping each other out and that they would get through this together, but he did not help citizens or their banks. Poor Americans lived in small clusters of shacks called '"Hoovervilles" because the president hadn't done anything to help.


Franklin Deleno Roosevelt signing one of his famous New Deal bills. After the disaster with President Hoover, FDR took things an entire different way. He gave banks the money and support they needed to get up and running again.

Home Life-Farmers,Mexican Americans


Two farmers use machines to lay down and harvest their crops. Farmers were already doing poorly in the 1920's because there was a decline in agriculture after WW1. Although many farming families were living in poverty, they could still survive because of the crops they were producing.
Mexican American migrant workers are harvesting under the hot sun. During the 20's, farmers allowed Mexican immigrants to temporarily work at their farms for very low wages. The Mexicans came and went as they pleased, traveling the south side of the country.


Three Okies are trying to escape a terrible dust storm. Little did farmers know, the new mechanical methods they were using to harvest crops ripped off layers of topsoil. The only thing that kept the soil in its place was water, and a severe drought spread across the nation in the 1930's that caused it all to blow away, thus creating a series of dust storms called the Dust Bowl, which drew many families away from their homes and looking for new life.
A poor Mexican American family stands on the street. During the Dust Bowl, not only the farm owners had lost their jobs. The Mexican migrant workers also had nowhere to work. In semi-good times for farmers (the 20's), immigrants were welcomed into farms. But now, as everyone was jobless, the Mexicans were just competition for work. The government eventually rounded up the immigrants and deported them.


Although there was a “roar” in the decade of the 1920’s, everything started to go downhill in 1929. In what led to one of the worst times America would ever see, the stock market crash of 1929 sent everything spiraling out of control. Because the country had relied too much on the stock market to make money, they didn’t realize it couldn’t keep getting better; sooner or later it would have to crash and burn.

Life for women changed as time passed. In the 20’s many women were very wealthy and could afford technology that could get work at home done for them, leaving them with a lot of free time. Many visited entertainment facilities. After the crash, people had no money left to buy anything. Women now not only had to do work at home but also had to find a job, due to many distraught husbands leaving their families behind. They had almost no leisure time, but whenever they could find some it would still be spent at the theatre because people felt movies were their only escape from the harsh world.

The economy was undoubtedly not booming like it had been in the past decade. Before, average citizens could afford almost anything they wanted. In the 1930’s, business owners found themselves having to lay off their workers because they couldn’t afford to keep them. These people now had even less money than before. They couldn’t afford to buy any products from businesses anymore, so the companies had to fire even more employees. It became a vicious circle that just made things worse.

There was a great change in the role of government as the 1920’s transitioned into the 1930’s. Before the crash, stockbrokers gave investors loans, expecting payment when the stocks paid out dividends, which never happened. When everyone ran to the banks to ask for all of their money, the banks didn’t have it, and they were forced to close. President Hoover’s recommended that everyone work together to rectify the situation, but this had no effect. People suffering blamed Hoover, many sleeping in clusters of shacks called “Hoovervilles.” When FDR stepped in as president, his New Deal programs gave banks and stockbrokers the support they needed to get up and running again.

Even in the 20’s, a farmer's home life was definitely not luxurious. After the decline in agriculture proceeding WW1, most farmers became poor. They were able to live because they grew their own food. During the 30’s, the mechanical methods farmers used combined with a serious drought created a series of dust storms called the Dust Bowl. Farmland was destroyed and families were forced to abandon their homes, migrating westward. Unfortunately, they were not welcomed when they reached their destination and were told to return to their homeland.

Overall, the transition from the 1920’s into the 1930’s went from “boom to bust.” America went through a time that they would never forget that also helped them to prepare for something similar in the future.

Created By
Nicholas Paolella

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