How Did The Great Depression Affect Middle Class Americans

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The Great Depression was a period of an economic disaster that lasted from 1929 to 1939. The effects of the depression varied across the nation and had a significant impact on all the different classes of the society. The following investigation will explore the impacts of Great Depression on the daily lives of middle-class Americans. Middle-class Americans were severely affected by the Depression mostly because they stood in the most convenient place of the societal ladder, they were neither poor nor wealthy. So, when Depression struck, the middle-class almost disappeared from the ladder because the economic crisis was massive and affected their lifestyles drastically. The first source analyzed was a book by Russell Freedman named "Children …show more content…

The following investigation will focus on how different aspects of the Great Depression significantly affected the way middle-class Americans lived their day to day life. To understand the effects of Great Depression, it's important to know what the great depression was.
The Hard Times, were a time of economic downturn that started in as early as 1928. The beginning of the Great Depression in the United States is associated with the October 29, 1929, stock market crash which is now known to us as the Black Tuesday and the end of the depression period is associated with the start of the World War II, in around 1939. The Hard Times which took place in the United States not only affected the stock market itself and the banking system but it also left its mark on the day to day lives of Americans.
During the Great Depression, middle-class Americans were drastically affected in several ways. Families from different ethnic, religious, regional backgrounds reacted to the depression in various manners. In 1933, the average household income dropped to $1500 which is 40 percent less than that in 1929 family income of $2300. Families not only lost their saving as the banking system collapsed, but they were also unable to pay mortgages, rent and were deprived and evicted from their houses. The effects of the depression were …show more content…

In the book "Hard Times" Stud Terkel, summarized a woman's feelings. She described, "The Depression affected people in two different ways. The great majority reacted by thinking money is the most important thing in the world. Get yours. And get it for your children. Nothing else matters. Not having that stark terror come at you again. And there was a small number of people who felt the whole system was lousy. You have to change it." (pg. 462).
The Great Depression in many after the crash of Wall Street, on October 29, 1929, led to a disappearance in optimism n many middle-class Americans. As it brought with it despair, homelessness, bankruptcies and mass unemployment. All this resulted in a rise in suicide rates. Death rates with were an average 12.1 per 100,000 people in the early 1920's jumped to around 18.9 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1929, This suicide rate remained at its steady speed throughout the Great Depression. Stud Terkel quoted in his book "Hard Times," “What I remember most of those times is that poverty creates desperation, and desperation creates violence.” (pg. 195). During the Hard Times crime rate increased as the family lost everything. This ultimately led people, to do anything to gain money. Hence, the growth in crime

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