Though most Americans are aware of the Great Depression of 1929, which
may well be “the most serious problem facing our free enterprise economic
system”, few know of the many Americans who lost their homes, life savings
and jobs. Americans faced vast problems during the eleven years of
depressions span. The paper primarily focuses on what life was like for
farmers during the time of the Depression.
By the 1930’s, thirteen million
workers lost their jobs, which is 25 percent of all workers. The blacks and
unskilled workers were always the first to be fired. Farmers had no money and
weren’t capable of paying their mortgages. Americans traveled throughout the
country looking for a place to work to support themselves and their family.
Farmers plight during the Great Depression and drought. When the rains failed to
come, the grass began to disappear. As the farmers watched their plants turn
brown and the dirt slowly turn to dust they began to fear what was to come. In
the water-cut gullies the earth dusted down in dry little streams.
As the sharp
sun struck day after day, the leaves of the young corn became less stiff and
erect; then it was June and the sun shone more fiercely. The brown lines on the
corn leaves widened and moved in on the central ribs. The weeds frayed and edged
back toward their roots. The air was thin and the sky more pale; and every day
the earth paled.
The farmers were terrified that the government feed loans
wouldn’t be available to keep the livestock from dying. In many cases, the Red
Cross was making allowances for feed to keep live livestock. The small farmers
of fruit trees and vegetable plants depended on others who ran canneries to
bottle and can their produce. The people they depended upon were the same people
that hired scientists to experiment on the fruits and vegetables to come up with
better tasting and yielding produce.
Thus the small farmers were dependent on
these same rich landowners for almost everything. They couldn’t harvest their
produce on their own so they sold it to the rich landowners and thus made very
little money on their produce. The farmers found themselves in debt caused by
the purchase of land, tools, animals and other items bought on credit. The Great
Depression was the end result of World War I.
It affected the rich and poor
alike, factory workers and farmers, bankers and stockbrokers. In short, it
affected everyone; no one was left untouched. But of all the people hurt,
farmers were the worst off. The Great Depression is known to be the worst
economic disaster in U.