Down and Out in the Great Depression Essay

1375 Words Apr 11th, 2008 6 Pages
During the 1920’s, America was a prosperous nation going through the “Big Boom” and loving every second of it. However, this fortune didn’t last long, because with the 1930’s came a period of serious economic recession, a period called the Great Depression. By 1933, a quarter of the nation’s workers (about 40 million) were without jobs. The weekly income rate dropped from $24.76 per week in 1929 to $16.65 per week in 1933 (McElvaine, 8). After President Hoover failed to rectify the recession situation, Franklin D. Roosevelt began his term with the hopeful New Deal. In two installments, Roosevelt hoped to relieve short term suffering with the first, and redistribution of money amongst the poor with the second. Throughout these years of the …show more content…
Many begged to remain anonymous. Also, like many other classes, the members of the middle-class didn’t want charity or handouts; they just wanted employment, or possibly a loan (pp. 53-4). No one took pride in having to write these letters. Many had to swallow their pride just to get pen to paper. “It is very humiliating for me to have to write to you” one Depression victim wrote (pp. 62). Middle-class citizens, like the rural citizens, wanted nothing less than the blacks to take their employment (pp. 94). The rural citizens also turned to the Roosevelt administration as a beacon of hope. The cherished the values of independence and hard work, so they asked only for employment or a loan (pp. 69). Their ideal solution to this economic terror was employment, as a result. They weren’t satisfied with the outcome of the relief though. They believed the relief was just creating ‘loafers’ out of the unemployed who choose not to work (pp. 125). They felt that Roosevelt should “give work to the needy ones, and not to the ones that have everything” (pp. 138). The rural citizens felt slightly forgotten, but not as forgotten as some classes during the Depression. A couple of classes during the Depression seemed to have been commonly forgotten about. The Black Americans, when having the courage to write these letters, explained their fear of signing their name. The

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