Social And Cultural Impacts Of The Great Depression
It was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the western industrialized world. In the United States, it began soon after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into panic and wiped out millions of investors. It completely dominated the social and political landscape of American life and dramatically altered the relationship between the nation’s government and the people (Staff). The Great Depression had a long-lasting affect on the world because of the stock market crash, President Hoover, Roosevelt’s reaction, and the way that it affected the people.
Stock prices had risen more than fourfold from the low in 1929 to the peak in 1929. In 1928 and 1929, the Federal Reserve …show more content…
Divorce rates dropped steadily in the 1930s. Birth rates fell sharply, especially during the lowest points of the Depression (Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression). Many of the migrants were adolescents seeking opportunity away from a family that had younger mouths to feed. Over 600,000 people were caught hitching rides on trains during the Great Depression. Many times offenders went unpunished (Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression). Because the prospects of a young male getting a job were so incredibly dim, many decided to stay in school longer. However, public spending on education declined sharply, causing many schools to open understaffed or close due to lack of funds (Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression). Radios flourished as those who owned a radio set before the crash could listen for free. President Roosevelt made wide use of radio technology with his periodic “fireside chants” to keep the public informed (Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression). Bread lines, soup kitchens and rising numbers of homeless people became more and more common in American’s towns and cities. Farmers couldn’t afford to harvest their crops, and were forced to leave them rotting in the fields while people elsewhere starved (Fremon). The wages of blue-collar defense workers with overtime pay reached middle-class levels, outstripping the wages of white-collar office employees (Cochron 104). By 1933, the nation’s unemployment rate stood at nearly 2 percent, up from only 3 percent in 1929 (Great