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Great Depression Effects Essay

Many times throughout history the United States has undergone economicdepression. The most recognized period of economic depression is called theGreat Depression. The Great Depression is well known because of the seriousnessof the stock market crash.

The results of the crash were more serious than anyother crash throughout American History. The Great Depression caused a change inthe nature of the American family, an increase in poverty, and President HerbertHoover’s proposal for immediate action by the government, balanced his belief in”rugged individualism” with the economic necessities. While mostAmericans are familiar with the Great Depression as a time of economic disaster,it also had an impact on the American Family life. There were obviousdifferences in the classes as a result of the Great Depression.

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The lower andthe middle classes changed considerably, but the upper class lifestyle did notvary a great deal. (Simmons 41) The father’s role as head of the householdbecame more challenging because there were fewer jobs. The expectation was forfathers to work and support their families. The reality of the lower class wasthat few men brought home paychecks.

Some fathers suffered anxiety and a feelingof worthlessness for failing to provide for their families. Many resorted tostealing food and money just to survive. (Simmons 41) Women were offered greateropportunities in the work force, however they tended to take the position ofstay-at-home mothers. According to Simmons “Men resented employed women forthey felt that they were occupying jobs that could be given to unemployedmen. “(Simmons 43) Children in the lower class were expected to get aneducation so that they could improve their situation. In addition they wereneeded at home to help with household chores.

Unfortunately, many poor childrendropped out of school because of their obligations at home. Children in themiddle class were better than those in the lower class. They had the opportunityto stay in school and were treated to some luxuries. The children of the upperclass families received an excellent education and were treated to manyluxuries. (Simmons 42-43) Along with a change in the American family life, therewas also an increase in poverty.

The Great Depression was an intense time ofpoverty. The downfall of American businesses, the closing of banks, and thelowered employment contributed to this period of destitute. According to an oldstudy “26,000 American businesses collapsed; in 1931, 28,000 more met thesame fate. And by the beginning of 1932, nearly 3,500 banks, holding billions ofdollars in uninsured deposits, had gone under. Twelve million people wereunemployed (nearly 25 percent of the workforce), and the real earnings for thosestill lucky enough to have jobs fell by a third” (Internet).

Thisstatistical evidence effectively illustrates the increase in poverty caused bythe Great Depression. An additional result of the Great Depression was thatPresident Hoover balanced his belief of “rugged individualism” withthe economic necessities of the time by proposing direct action by thegovernment. Hoover had only been in office for eight months when the stockmarket crashed. At first he treated this financial disaster and decline inemployment and business that followed the Great Depression as a panic. Accordingto The American Pageant “He was accused of saying, yet did not use theseprecise words, that prosperity was just around the corner” (Bailey 776). Asthe depression got worse Hoover became more and more concerned about thetroubles of Americans.

Hoover refused to agree with the request of the Democratsin Congress, who wanted the government to distribute money to the unemployed. “. . . as a “rugged individualist” deeply rooted in anearlier era of free enterprise, shrank from the heresy of government handouts.

Convinced that industry, thrift, and self-reliance were the virtues that madeAmerica great, President Hoover felt that a government doling out doles wouldweaken, perhaps destroy the national fiber. . . “(Bailey 776).

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However,President Hoover “would assist the hard-pressed railroads, banks, and ruralcredit corporations, in the hope that if financial health were restored at thetop of the economic pyramid, unemployment would be relieved at the bottom on atrickle-down basis” (Bailey 777). In order for Hoover to do so heintroduced The Reconstruction Act. This Act was created to prepare emergencyfinancing for banks, insurance companies, and other companies. The Glass-SteagallAct used government gold reserves to help industry. The Federal Home Loan BankAct created discount banks to help refinance homes and prevent foreclosures.

Hoover also wanted the reform of bankruptcy laws to help in the reconstructionof businesses. He supported a loan of $300 million to states for direct relief,expansion of public works, and cutbacks in the federal government. By proposingthis act President Hoover was not giving up his belief in “ruggedindividualism. He was not supporting the Democrats’ calls for increased welfare.

Instead he was providing better access to loans and financing so that Americanscould help themselves. Although his actions did stop increased destruction fromoccurring, he did not get the credit he deserved. (Simmons 46-49) The GreatDepression had an enormous effect on American life. It effected family life byaltering the status of the family members. Poverty increased as seen through thenumber of collapsed American businesses, closed banks, and lowered employmentrates. President Hoover balanced the economic needs of the country with hispersonal belief in “rugged individualism.

” He proposed a series ofacts to address these economic needs including the Reconstruction Act, theStealgal Act, and the Federal Home Loan Bank Act. BibliographyEffects of the Great Depression Many times throughout history the United Stateshas undergone economic depression. The most recognized period of economicdepression is called the Great Depression. The Great Depression is well knownbecause of the seriousness of the stock market crash.

The results of the crashwere more serious than any other crash throughout American History. The GreatDepression caused a change in the nature of the American family, an increase inpoverty, and President Herbert Hoover’s proposal for immediate action by thegovernment, balanced his belief in “rugged individualism” with theeconomic necessities. While most Americans are familiar with the GreatDepression as a time of economic disaster, it also had an impact on the AmericanFamily life. There were obvious differences in the classes as a result of theGreat Depression.

The lower and the middle classes changed considerably, but theupper class lifestyle did not vary a great deal. (Simmons 41) The father’s roleas head of the household became more challenging because there were fewer jobs. The expectation was for fathers to work and support their families. The realityof the lower class was that few men brought home paychecks. Some fatherssuffered anxiety and a feeling of worthlessness for failing to provide for theirfamilies.

Many resorted to stealing food and money just to survive. (Simmons 41)Women were offered greater opportunities in the work force, however they tendedto take the position of stay-at-home mothers. According to Simmons “Menresented employed women for they felt that they were occupying jobs that couldbe given to unemployed men. “(Simmons 43) Children in the lower class wereexpected to get an education so that they could improve their situation. Inaddition they were needed at home to help with household chores. Unfortunately,many poor children dropped out of school because of their obligations at home.

Children in the middle class were better than those in the lower class. They hadthe opportunity to stay in school and were treated to some luxuries. Thechildren of the upper class families received an excellent education and weretreated to many luxuries. (Simmons 42-43) Along with a change in the Americanfamily life, there was also an increase in poverty. The Great Depression was anintense time of poverty.

The downfall of American businesses, the closing ofbanks, and the lowered employment contributed to this period of destitute. According to an old study “26,000 American businesses collapsed; in 1931,28,000 more met the same fate. And by the beginning of 1932, nearly 3,500 banks,holding billions of dollars in uninsured deposits, had gone under. Twelvemillion people were unemployed (nearly 25 percent of the workforce), and thereal earnings for those still lucky enough to have jobs fell by a third”(Internet). This statistical evidence effectively illustrates the increase inpoverty caused by the Great Depression.

READ:  Great depression on unemployment Essay

An additional result of the GreatDepression was that President Hoover balanced his belief of “ruggedindividualism” with the economic necessities of the time by proposingdirect action by the government. Hoover had only been in office for eight monthswhen the stock market crashed. At first he treated this financial disaster anddecline in employment and business that followed the Great Depression as apanic. According to The American Pageant “He was accused of saying, yet didnot use these precise words, that prosperity was just around the corner”(Bailey 776). As the depression got worse Hoover became more and more concernedabout the troubles of Americans.

Hoover refused to agree with the request of theDemocrats in Congress, who wanted the government to distribute money to theunemployed. “. . .

as a “rugged individualist” deeplyrooted in an earlier era of free enterprise, shrank from the heresy ofgovernment handouts. Convinced that industry, thrift, and self-reliance were thevirtues that made America great, President Hoover felt that a government dolingout doles would weaken, perhaps destroy the national fiber. . . “(Bailey 776).

However, President Hoover “would assist the hard-pressed railroads, banks,and rural credit corporations, in the hope that if financial health wererestored at the top of the economic pyramid, unemployment would be relieved atthe bottom on a trickle-down basis” (Bailey 777). In order for Hoover to doso he introduced The Reconstruction Act. This Act was created to prepareemergency financing for banks, insurance companies, and other companies. TheGlass-Steagall Act used government gold reserves to help industry. The FederalHome Loan Bank Act created discount banks to help refinance homes and preventforeclosures.

Hoover also wanted the reform of bankruptcy laws to help in thereconstruction of businesses. He supported a loan of $300 million to states fordirect relief, expansion of public works, and cutbacks in the federalgovernment. By proposing this act President Hoover was not giving up his beliefin “rugged individualism. He was not supporting the Democrats’ calls forincreased welfare.

Instead he was providing better access to loans and financingso that Americans could help themselves. Although his actions did stop increaseddestruction from occurring, he did not get the credit he deserved. (Simmons46-49) The Great Depression had an enormous effect on American life. It effectedfamily life by altering the status of the family members. Poverty increased asseen through the number of collapsed American businesses, closed banks, andlowered employment rates. President Hoover balanced the economic needs of thecountry with his personal belief in “rugged individualism.” Heproposed a series of acts to address these economic needs including theReconstruction Act, the Stealgal Act, and the Federal Home Loan Bank Act.

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Great Depression Effects Essay
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Many times throughout history the United States has undergone economicdepression. The most recognized period of economic depression is called theGreat Depression. The Great Depression is well known because of the seriousnessof the stock market crash. The results of the crash were more serious than anyother crash throughout American History. The Great Depression caused a change inthe nature of the American family, an increase in poverty, and President HerbertHoover's proposal for imm
2021-08-11 08:38:15
Great Depression Effects Essay
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