The Great Depression

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The Great Depression Many times throughout history, the United States has undergone economic depression. The most recognized period of economic depression is called the Great Depression. The Great Depression is well known because of the seriousness of the stock market crash. The results of the crash were more serious than any other crash throughout American History. The Great Depression caused a change in the nature of the American family, an increase in poverty, and President Herbert Hoover's proposal for immediate action by the government, balanced his belief in "rugged individualism" with the economic necessities. While most Americans are familiar with the Great Depression as a time of economic disaster, it also had an impact on the American Family life. There were obvious differences in the classes because of the Great Depression. The lower and the middle classes changed considerably, but the upper class lifestyle did not vary a great deal. The father's role as head of the household became more challenging because there were fewer jobs. The expectation was for fathers to work and support their families. The reality of the lower class was that few men brought home paychecks. Some fathers suffered anxiety and a feeling of worthlessness for failing to provide for their families. Many resorted to stealing food and money just to survive. Women were offered greater opportunities in the work force, however they tended to take the position of stay-at-home mothers. Men resented employed women for they felt that they were occupying jobs that could be given to unemployed men. Children in the lower class were expected to get an education so that they could improve their situation. In addition, they were needed at home to help with household chores. Unfortunately, many poor children dropped out of school because of their obligations at home. Children in the middle class were better than those in the lower class. They had the opportunity to stay in school and were treated to more luxuries. The children of the upper class families received an excellent education and were also treated to many luxuries. Along with a change in the American family life, there was also an increase in poverty. The Great Depression was an intense time of poverty. The downfall of American ... ... middle of paper ... ...s and prevent foreclosures. Hoover also wanted the reform of bankruptcy laws to help in the reconstruction of businesses. He supported a loan of $300 million to states for direct relief, expansion of public works, and cutbacks in the federal government. By proposing this act President Hoover was not giving up his belief in "rugged individualism. He was not supporting the Democrats' calls for increased welfare. Instead, he was providing better access to loans and financing so that Americans could help themselves. Although his actions did stop increased destruction from occurring, he did not get the credit he deserved. The Great Depression had an enormous effect on American life. It effected family life by altering the status of the family members. Poverty increased as seen through the number of collapsed American businesses, closed banks, and lowered employment rates. President Hoover balanced the economic needs of the country with his personal belief in "rugged individualism." He proposed a series of acts to address these economic needs including the Reconstruction Act, The Steal gal Act, and the Federal Home Loan Bank Act.

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