The Great Depression’s Impact on Families
The Great Depression began on October 29, 1929, when the stock market crashed, in an event known as “Black Tuesday.” More than twenty-five percent of the American workforce was unemployed in 1933, one of the lowest points of the Depression (Smiley). While the U.S. economy started to recuperate in the second quarter of 1933, the recovery primarily stopped for most of 1934 and 1935. A more forceful comeback appeared in late 1935 and lingered into 1937, instantly a different depression occurred. The American economy had yet to revive itself completely from the Great Depression when the United States was pulled into World War II in December 1941 (Smiley). The Great Depression also affected families because the head of the household—usually a male who worked a high-paying job—sometimes lost their job, thus causing families to live sordid lives, to which many families were not accustomed. In the coalfields of Pennsylvania, three or four families were crammed together in one-room shacks and subsisted on wild weeds. Families were found living in caves in Arkansas. Entire families lived in sewer pipes in Oakland, California (Mintz). Fortunately, the U. S. government, under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, created such programs as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, to rejuvenate the American economy following the Great Depression by creating new jobs (Wilkison). Because of the economic hardships of the Great Depression, it had a tremendous impact on families because families struggled financially to make ends meet, they had to depend on the government to restructure the economy, and that the father had to find a new way to earn a living since they may have been laid off from his previous profession.
The Great Depression impacted families because they struggled financially to make ends meet. Because of this, typical family positions changed...
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