American Families And The Great Depression: Hardships And Encounters Of The 1930s History 550 Literature Review For Masters Degree

2036 words - 9 pages

At the peak of the Great Depression, the nation became more urban and started to lose rural living, the industry was still at a high and thriving and populations were steadily on the rise, which in turn, caused major stress on the variations of the market economies that aided in the cause of the nation’s hardships and struggles of the 1930s. Numerous documents reported on the Great Depression surround the political and industrial financial aspects such as the Stock Market crash, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, campaigning, industrial trades and financial trends and losses, leading further research to be conducted on the hardships and the self struggles families faced through a single decade and how the New Deal from President Franklin D. Roosevelt played a part in the well-being of the American people. This paper will highlight the Stock Market Crash of 1929 as well as the New Deal and the positive roles it played on the American people during the Great Depression. The greater part of this paper will set focus on African American and white American families’ struggles, health, finances, mortality rates and housing conditions and will add to the available literature as the literature and resources of this aspect of the Great Depression is lighter in scholarship in comparison to the financial and political aspect of this era.
Argument in existing historiography
The Great Depression was not all about financial losses between businesses, trades, imports, campaigning for presidency and restoring the economy. Although the nation took a huge economic loss/downward spiral in the financial department, the American people took a loss as well: mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. When the Great Depression is mentioned, one thinks finances or how the Stock Market crashed caused such a huge downward spiral for the American people during the 1930s and how prices shifted drastically from the previous decade. Textbooks can only teach so much and this specific era in history is firmly and highly wrapped up in the presidency along with FDR’s New Deal, and economic losses that the people and their sufferings have less literature/light and the readers should be more aware that The Great Depression was about the presidency and FDR’s New Deal, the economy and the American people’s own personal lives.
Dominance of reform sentiments and standpattism have occurred throughout American history for years, with sessions lasting ten to twenty years. Through American history, there have been eras such as the Jacksonian era, the aristocratic and democratic era, the Federalist era, the Gilded age and the Progressive era to name just a few. Through each era of history, there have been shortcomings and heartache as well as advancements and outstanding transitions. For example, the early twentieth century seen the roaring twenties, which brought to America jazz music, dance halls, movies, a boost to the economy from...

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