How Did The Great Depression Affect Families In The 1930's

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“We had home remedies for illnesses and made our own soap for washing. Every penny counted. Nothing was ever wasted.”- Madge Conti Browning.
Families changed drastically during the 1930’s, some for the better, others for the worse. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus and his peers show that even in small southern communities, the Great Depression had its toll. Families all over the U.S. blamed Herbert Hoover for the struggles of the Great Depression. In order to help their communities, teens and young adults took jobs in any field offered. Newly employed women took the power to make decisions with their own income to support their family. In the end, WWII pulled America out of its longest depression in history and created one of …show more content…

The female work force increased by 50% from 1930 to 1940. Equality was still an everyday struggle. For example, in 1939, the median salary of a male teacher was $1,953 a year, while female teachers received only $1,394 a year, a difference of over $500! Even with the new family income, women were still expected to take care of the children and housework. After an eight hour shift, mothers and wives came home to begin cooking what was available from the food pantry, to try and please their hungry family. Toys were expensive and rare, so children, such as Scout and Jem from To Kill a Mockingbird found fun in their own neighbors. Many men were fired due to lack of money while the low paid women kept their jobs. Some husbands were unhappy with the shift in power and left. In 1933, 1.5 wives were left to feed themselves and their children. Even in rough times, the women were required to still dress themselves elegantly. Resourceful families used material around the house to use as clothing. In one case, an old potato sac can be used as underwear. The struggles of the Great Depression bore its’ tolls in every …show more content…

In some areas, the unemployment rate for minorities was 50% of the population! Some charities would even go as far as to refuse to serve African and Mexican Americans. Jobs were first given to the white men, then if spots were left, to the white women. Jobs were rare and valuable during the Great Depression, especially to minorities. Black women found themselves at an advantage as they could find jobs in the house easier than men could in the factories. The working minorities were looked down upon as many thought that the jobs held by minorities should belong to white men and women. As shown in To Kill a Mockingbird, black were considered almost an entire different community. Very few had jobs outside of the farm, with one exception being Calpurnia. Family’s had struggles during the 1930’s as it was very difficult to find a good

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