After the crash of the stock market in 1929, the Great Depression began. The Depression brought devastation to the economy of the United States and resulted in severe problems for the American people. Throughout the 1930’s, the American people and the government dealt with the Depression in many various ways.
Problems faced by the American people during the Great depression in the 1930’s included 25% employment rate. A lot of people lost their jobs. People that lost their jobs could not afford their electricity better yet their own homes which caused them to move into shacks called hoovervilles. The stock market crash is the cause of the Great Depression and the reason the stock market crashed was because people were buying on margin, meaning that the banks were loaning out money for people to buy stocks. They could buy on credit and make monthly payments. The one major problem with this idea was that people found out that they couldn’t afford to make the monthly payment.
The Great Depression caused families to starve and children were reported so famished they were chewing up their own hands. (Doc 2) Families couldn’t afford their heat because of the loss of their jobs that had to burn their furniture to keep a fire going to keep them warm. (Doc 2) People would line up in a huge line waiting for a piece of bread to be given to them this was known as a “soup line”. (Doc3)
Women in the labor force were affected by the Great Depression because women lost their jobs at faster rate then men then entered the workforce more rapidly. (Doc 5) Women were highly concentrated and indeed constituted a hefty majority of employee’s suffered pay cuts but only minimal job losses. (Doc 5) President Hoover did not handle the Great Depression well at all. He basically let people fend for themselves rather than getting involved. (Doc 4) American people started to protest and picket and the WW1 veterans demanded a bonus. Instead of Hoover handling it properly he sent in tanks to break up the protests. (Doc 4)
Farmers weren’t doing well because they made a very small profit. This profit wouldn’t allow the farmers to purchase new machinery and because of this they couldn’t produce goods quick enough. Many African Americans did not benefit from the New Deal programs such as tenant farming, as farm laborers, as migrants, as domestic workers didn’t qualify for unemployment, insurance, minimum wages, or social security. (Doc 6) Soon the farmer’s crops started to slowly dye and the rain failed to fall causing it to be nothing but dry dirt.
The air was thin. The dust was so bad they had to cover their mouths with handkerchiefs so they could breath. This was known as the Dust Bowl. People were dying because they inhaled so much dust. Additionally, the SSA allowed the elderly to retire and open up labor spots however, unemployment did not fully drop to pre-depression levels until WWII.
The Great Depression effected everyone during that time period, the rich, the poor, farmers, bankers, stock buyers, everyone.