The Great Depression was a period of time from 1929 to 1939 where America was in a hole.
The Stock Market Crash was what caused it. On the days and weeks leading up to the crash, traders had become nervous that it was coming. They sold as many shares as fast as they could. This caused prices to crash, billions of dollars were lost.
This was a catastrophic loss for America and it was the sole cause of the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a challenge for Americans, It put pressure on finances, family, and jobs. Many people became homeless, jobless, and prideless. America faced a number of problems. The economy needed to recover, the people needed to recover and the government needed to help the recovery. Hoover was late to the aid of America.
He believed that the government does not need to be involved and the people should help themselves. No help was given until 1932, almost 3 years after the crash. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was formed, it gave up to $2 billion in government loans to struggling banks, insurance companies, and other institutions. This was a late start to helping America, but it did help. Hoover then signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, it raised the cost of imported good for American consumers, so it would urge them to purchase cheaper American goods.
This backfired on Hoover, the tariffs were at a historically high rate and Europeans responded to this by putting tariffs on American goods. This all caused trade to go down, it went down by almost two thirds since before the crash. Hoover was in rough waters with the American people after this. During the Depression many families had to stand in lines for hours to receive donated food and clothing. Many of these people never imagined that they would be in this situation. People had become homeless and jobless. Men would go out in the day and search for work, but come home empty handed. It was a hard life.
So many people were homeless and had to live on the streets or in Hoovervilles (makeshift houses in parks or other places). Some became hobos and rode on the trains to find a new life, many would be caught and sent to work in fields. It was hard for every American. Discrimination was huge. Approximately half of Black Americans were out of work by 1932. People in the north called for all dark skinned people to be fired from their jobs as long as white people were out of work.
Up until Roosevelt became president, things were very rough. Like African Americans, Asian Americans were targets of discrimination. In California, many Asian American communities were segregated from their white neighbors.
They relied on each other to get by each day. They shared resources between each other and worked on farms.In conclusion the Great depression affected America in many different ways. It was a rough period of time but they pulled through. My great grandmother lived through the Great Depression in South Carolina, she lived on the streets most of the time because she wasn’t allowed home.
She had to support her siblings and help her parents. Once Roosevelt became president, the light at the end of the tunnel was seen. The hard times showed the people what America could be like if we aren’t smart about our country and economy. After the Great Depression, the United States was more careful in what could stay and what had to go. It was a learned lesson.