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What Were The Effects Of The Great Depression?

1294 words - 5 pages

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, millions of families were struggling to live on incomes so meager that the threat of starvation hung over them everyday. The great depression had brought millions to unemployment and an increase in poverty. People who remained with their jobs experienced salary cuts and those without jobs lived with the help of friends, family, or just waited out the economic downturn (Freedman 10). The cause and blame of this event happening was while president Herbert Hoover was in office. Once president Franklin D. Roosevelt stepped into office he took matters into his own hands and constructed a series of programs and acts to upturn the economic depression (Fremon 26). The problems people faced during this crisis would take years to overcome.Unemployment had reached it's highest, one out of every four Americans who wanted work could not find it. Thirty-four million people (28 percent of the population), had no income at all. Thousands of banks across the country failed and had to close their doors without paying their depositors. People's money which they had worked so hard for vanished over night (Freedman 14).More than half the nation's young children were growing up in families that could not afford food, shelter, clothing, or medical care. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said "I see millions of citizens- a substantial part of the whole population- who at this very moment are denied the greater part of… the necessities of life. I see one- third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill nourished" (Freedman 13). People had to wait at soup kitchens run by charities for small portions of dry bread or thin soup, on lines that stretched for many blocks. It was common for people to faint because they hadn't received proper nutrition (Freedman 16-17).Small poor settlement referred to as "Hoovervilles" sprang up, where the poorest people took refuge. These shack settlements were located on vacant lots and the border of every city. Shelters were built of anything the people could get their hands on such as cardboard, wood, packing crates, fence posts, tin cans, canvas, and anything that could offer them protection from the cold. These communities received their names cause of a bitter tribute to former president Hoover, who was widely blamed for the Depression (Freedman 20-21).In order to resolve the problems of the Great Depression, during the first 100 days of the new administration, President Roosevelt came up with a plan to help the American people. For the first time, the federal government assumed economic responsibility for the nation. They gave more than $500 million for cash, food, and shelter to the impoverished. These series of programs created by the government were part of what Roosevelt called the "New Deal" (Lisa 28).The New Deal was created in March of 1933, and ended in the end of the year 1938. The first part of the New Deal was the Emergency Banking Act, which provided for the re-opening of banks...

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