How Did The Great Depression Affect Society

1080 Words 5 Pages
As the Roaring Twenties came to a close, America was thrown into one of the worst periods in its history. The Great Depression shook the nation in ways the American people could have never imagined. Americans quickly went from living the high life to barely having bread to eat. Millions went unemployed and millions starved throughout the overwhelming ten years of the Depression. This time period has made a huge impact on American society because it caused people to lose all trust in the banks, it caused a major job shortage, and it negatively impacted the American spirit.
The Depression quickly caused the American people to lose all faith in the banks. When the stock market finally crashed on October 29, 1929, the banks lost billions of dollars
…show more content…
All across America, people “no longer trusted banks to keep their money safe. In city after city, depositors rushed to withdraw their savings” (Lindop 10). As a result of the depositors withdrawing all of their money at once, thousands of banks went out of business. As an alternative option to keeping money in a bank, many Americans resorted to stashing their money at home. They hid large amounts of money under floorboards and sometimes even mattresses (Lindop 10). The mass panic generated by the stocks dropping in value ultimately caused the American people to lose more money than expected. The banks had no money;therefore, businesses had no money. Since businesses did not have any money, they could not provide any jobs. There was no way the …show more content…
Businesses had no money; therefore, they had to fire large amounts of workers. The number of unemployed Americans had “nearly tripled—from about 1.5 million unemployed in 1929 to 4.3 million in 1930” (Lindop 14). Everyday thousands of unemployed workers would go everywhere in search for a job. Ed Paulsen, who was nineteen in 1931, recalled that “outside the Spreckles Sugar Refinery, outside the gates, there would be a thousand men. You know dang well there’s only three or four jobs...A thousand men would fight like a pack of Alaskan dogs to get through there” (Lindop 13). The job shortage had forced people to do anything necessary to get any job, no matter how dangerous. The problem was not that the people did not want to work for they “wanted to work and had believed that they would be rewarded for their hard work” (Bachelor), but that there were simply no jobs available to them. As time went on many people began to become discouraged, and resorted to sitting out in the streets after they had failed to find a job instead of going home to face their families. Many workers were quickly running out of money and lots of them could no longer sufficiently support their families. Many Americans had never known what it was like to be poor, but over the course of the Depression “poverty became a way of life” for 40 million people (Hard Times: The 30s 42). Another accomplishment of the Great Depression was sucking all the life

Related Documents