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Great Depression

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The Great Depression

Throughout the 1930's, the United States of America underwent its worst economic hardship ever. This struggle, known as the Great Depression, affected every aspect of American life. As the result of economic disparity brought on by the First World War and the great stock market crash of 1929, the depression sent America into a downward spiral into poverty. Businesses filed for bankruptcy, farmers were unable to sell crops, and banks were incapable of providing people with their money as the once booming economy came crashing down. The most profound impact that the Great Depression had, however, was on the social lives of the American population. As poverty struck, numerous Americans were left without food, jobs, and, of course, money. Eventually, the people were forced to move into broken down communities, which they named "Hoovervilles," after president Herbert Hoover. The depression even had many gradual psychological effects on the unemployed workers. Family status also changed during this time as unemployed men spent more time at home and the influence of wives began to increase. Much American Literature about the hardships of American life, by authors such as John Steinbeck and William Faulkner, also became prominent in the 1930's. Overall, aside from its obvious economic effects, the Great Depression also significantly altered the American way of life.

As the Great Depression stretched throughout the country in the early 1930's, many families were left without money and forced to live on stale food and even garbage. Needless to say, these people were unable to make the necessary payments on their homes and apartments and were forced to live elsewhere. As thousands of unemployed Americans roamed about the country without food or shelter, small decrepit communities made of cardboard boxes and other trash were created. As mentioned before, these communities were called "Hoovervilles." The Great American Depression forced most Americans into a new unaccustomed and un-welcomed lifestyle.

As unemployment became a common status in American life, the efforts put out by workers to find new jobs steadily decreased. After awhile, the jobless people simply began to give up in their efforts to find employment. Those who had held jobs all of their lives became ashamed of themselves and simply lost their ambition. Also, due to the mal-nutrition of the people during this time, the unemployed simply lacked the energy to do anything about their status. Few protests were held as unemployed workers instead chose to simply linger outside the Municipal Employment buildings. Basically, the common unemployed American was starting to accept his social status rather than fight it.

The Depression also had a profound affect on many American families in the 1930's. First, it caused a huge drop in the birthrate from 27.7 per thousand in the 1920's to o18.4 per thousand in the 1930's. During this time, the unemployed



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