As the roaring twenties captivated the lives of American families with its great profits, big business, and optimism, the thirties altered the nation’s economic dreams, values, fashion, and everyday life. After ending an abundant decade in the twenties, the 1930’s brought forth pain, poverty, and hardships.
Because of the stock market crash in the late 1920’s, it strongly affected families in the 1930’s in many ways. Everyday life was profoundly affected by the hard times. Marriages were delayed; birth rates dropped, contraceptive sales soared, and divorce rates were down (Reeves 115). Families at this time knew that money was not readily available, so getting married or having more children was not something the average family was looking forward to. Not to mention that getting a divorce would result to being stigmatized as single, and not being able to live on their own without the support or income of their spouse. Parents rarely went anywhere without their children; if they did, the older children took care of the younger ones. Each child had specific chores and responsibilities such as helping with washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, or dressing and bathing the younger children (Press 27). By 1933 things had gotten so bad that thousands of desperate unemployed men and women in American cities were reduced to selling apples on street corners (Press 11). The income from selling apples definitely could not have been enough to pay bills and support families, therefore many people began losing their homes. The hard times of the Great Depression began to be too much for some to deal with so suicides became so routine that they often went unreported (Congdon 8).
Most families in the 1930’s were experiencing the worst economic depression of their history, but luckily there were things to do that helped them cope with the hard times they were facing. Family Life during the Great Depression of the 1930’s was not at all austerity... [continues]
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