A 360 View On Life During The Great Depression

1411 words - 6 pages

In 1929 the United States had entered an economic slump known as the Great Depression. The Great Depression was the longest financial decline in American history. The sudden, devastating collapse of US stock market prices on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday, was just the beginning of this economic decline. The Great Depression changed society, socially and economically in many ways, including: family life, crime rates, and businesses.
One of the major impacts that the Great Depression had on many families was salary income. The economic collapse of the 1930’s was overwhelming in the way that it was affecting the citizens. “Unemployment jumped from less than 3 million in 1929 to 4 million in 1930, 8 million in 1931, and 12.5 million in 1932.” In just one year, a quarter of the nation’s families did not have any salaries entering their household, and during the first three years, an average of 100,000 workers was fired each week. When it became too difficult for the men to find work it became more popular for women and children to enter the work force. The women began to find it easier to find jobs working ask: clerks, maids, and other simple jobs to bring some sort of income into their home. There was a huge decline of food prices, but many families did without things like milk and meat and unless they could grow their food they would not buy it. In order to save the little money that they had many families started ignoring medical care, began growing and producing their own food, canning the food that they grew, and buying used bread. Although the women were able to bring a small amount of money home with them, something was better than nothing in this case. The average family income had tumbled to 40 percent, from $2,300 in 1929 to just $1.500 four years later. Every family had to adjust to a new way of living during the Great Depression.
Families were collectively affected, emotionally, because of the Great Depression. Many children and teenagers were taken out of school and not offered an education, because many towns had to shut down schools and facilities due to lack of money. Because of this problem, many children were malnourished when not having consistent meals provided by the schools, were no longer driven to continue learning and at early ages had to find work. The death rate for children that were malnourished and were deprived of correct nutrition arose because their bodies were not capable to fight off disease. Teenagers often became embarrassed of their family’s unemployment and poverty, and decided to find ‘their own way of life’. After fleeing from their families they would travel across states on trains and by foot surviving on their own. “During the height of the Depression, 250,000 teenagers were roaming America by freight trains”. Couples were forced to delay marriage when struggling with money, but divorce rates also began to fall because couples could not afford to be in separate homes or pay the legal...

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