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How Did the Great Depression Affect Americans? Essay

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Updated: Dec 15th, 2021

The Great Depression can be fairly supposed to have been the harshest time in the history of the United States after The Civil War. The effect of it was distinctly felt in every American heart and every American family. Beginning with the stock fall on Wall Street in October 1929, the increase of the problem was growing gradually surpassing the whole area of the United States. The features of this negative phenomenon were as such: poverty, deflation, high rates of unemployment, etc. It was a time that shocked everyone living in America at the beginning of the 1930s. It was aggravated by ineffective governing provided by Herbert Hoover. The desperate mood of the American society was being deepened perpetually, for no efficient initiatives were taken by Hoover’s government despite bare “cheerleading” (Conlin 659). The economy was in decline, the social, scientific, political, and other processes were at the stage of delay. The hardest burden fell on the future of capitalism and democracy.

Americans were trying to survive while solely having work and the means to be supported physically. It was the total crash of all hopes. John Steinbeck described it as Grapes of Wrath coming from people nationwide in his well-known novel. People were more depressed morally than somehow else (Rothbard 186). Every year since 1928 Great Depression was strikingly reflected in all spheres of American society. It was so until Franklyn D. Roosevelt came into office. Hoover administration left him corporate profits decrease from $10 billion to $1 billion; bankruptcy of 100,000 businesses; 13 million idle workers and millions employed part-time across the US (Norton et al. 709). Taking these data into consideration, there is no doubt that the threat to capitalism was extremely high.

It is applicable to note that the affection from the Great Depression made the contemporaries of that time annoyed and desperate about economic insecurity. “Those who were adults during the 1930s would be haunted by the dread of economic collapse until they died” (Conlin 659). In fact, the history of this period gives lots of examples of when people went insane after losing huge sums of money and opportunities to work. However, due to the efficient plan of Roosevelt people were eventually given the possibility to work for food (Rothbard 75). It was the time that motivated people to work for the well-being of the nation. As a result, more than 60% of present-time buildings and roads were built due to brigades of workers across the US during the last period of the Great Depression (Norton 710). Hence, the situation had stabilized before World War II.

To my mind, the experience of the Great Depression showed Americans the pitfalls of capitalism that should be predicted in time from being dropped into them. In fact, the moral and patriotic spirits increased throughout the nation during that time. Coherence in the desire to work turned out afterward in high tempos of the national internal economic recovery. Once Americans were supported by the efficient design of the Roosevelt government, they became morally stronger. The hope emerged in their souls. The thing is that the Great Depression helped Americans look at things with more enthusiasm. As a result, the moral background became solid in rebuilding American society. Even if it is a part of history, it is reviewed currently as the challenge which was overcome by means of the iron will of Americans. To date, it becomes the most distinct example of how Americans should provide general efforts to break down common tragedy.

Works cited

Conlin, Joseph R. The American Past: A Survey of American History. Ed. 9. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2009.

Norton, Mary Beth, Sheriff, Carol, Katzman, David M., Blight, David W. and Chudacoff, Howard P. A People And A Nation: A History of the United States, Since 1865. Ed. 8. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2007.

Rothbard, Murray Newton. America’s great depression. Ed. 5. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2000.

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