The Great Depression Essay

1946 words - 8 pages

The Great Depression was a time of profound social and economic change. Eleanor Roosevelt exhorted American women in 1933 and said, “The women know that life must go on and that the needs of life must be met and it is their courage and determination which, time and again, have pulled us through worse crisis than the present one.” The stock market crash in 1929, which was known as Black Thursday, in which millions of investors, brokers and banks lost an enormous amount of money. The effects of the Great Depression were huge across the America. This was the start of a disaster that left lots of Americans unemployed by the time Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office. The New Deal transformed the role and the jurisdiction of the federal government. During the World War II, women's employment was rising.
The greatest emotional toll of the Great Depression affected minds and spirits of Americans. Owing to careless agricultural practices, storms came and wreaked destruction. Around 1931, many plains region went through a long, severe dry spell. This being called the Dust Bowl, also known at the dirty thirties. Although it lifted in time, millions of people had fled the region. Many people headed west along Route 66 to California, where they settled in camps and seeked job in farms and garden.
American president Herbert Hoover (1929 – 1933) believed that government should not provide aid directly; people should find ways to help themselves. The associative state was a term for his sight of voluntary partnerships between business associations and government. The Hoover Dam's success demonstrated the creative power of partnerships, but the president found it hard to rally cooperation. At his urging, Congress established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932. A key clause in the RFC legislation authorized up to $2 billion in immediate government loans to struggling institutions. Later that year, Hoover required Congress to create the Federal Home Loan Bank. The new plan encouraged home building and lessened the number of home foreclosures. Hoover undersigned the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930. The new tariff enhanced the cost of imported goods for American consumers, so they would purchase the cheaper American commodities. The act was practically a calamity. The tariff rates were set at historically highs, and then trade dipped. He revised his beliefs and began to promote for some forms of direct relief. As many as a quarter of a million teens were wandering the nation from town to town by train. Without families to sustain or protect them, they joined the ranks of the jobless, homeless wanders known as hoboes. The immigrants were called Okies, after the state of Oklahoma. But this term was incorrect, the migrants meant that people from a number of different states. The Great Plains migrants were regularly met by resistance, discrimination, and insult. The plight of the immigrants captured the imagination of some of...

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