The Role Of Family Life In The 1930s

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In the 1930s, the American people were faced with two defining events that shaped the United States and life within its borders: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. “Perhaps only the civil war was more stressful and touched proportionally more people.” (text 3). On March 4, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his first inaugural address: “This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. This quote may seem incredibly optimistic and unrealistic but after the events that took place before FDR took office, the American people needed to have hope. People in the United States during the early 1930s faced significant…show more content…
Many things were changing about family life during the Great Depression. “Marriages were delayed as many males waited until they could provide for a family before proposing.” (text 2). As postponing marriages became more common, the age of getting married steadily increased. This trend influenced family life for many years. Even after the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl had come to an end, the mark left on family life can still be seen today. “Fewer children were being born, and the size of the typical American family shrank to the smallest of any decade,”. Prior to the events of the 1930s, American families were relatively large but, because parents were not able to support their family as easily, their size dropped greatly. This dramatic shift completely changed the family dynamic during the 1930s and influenced future families for…show more content…
Some things that may have been unthinkable just 10 years earlier became a reality. “The birth rate fell below the replacement level for the first time ever, and a more liberal attitude toward birth control manifested itself.” (text 3). Birth control emerged as an option for couples, a choice that, just a few years earlier, was largely frowned upon and in certain situations considered blasphemous. Although the effects of the 1930s were primarily negative, some positive societal changes arose. Social change that may have been unthinkable became a reality after extreme circumstances came into play. “Prostitution was on the rise as desperate women sought ways to pay the bills.” (text 2). Prostitution, an extreme measure that may was totally inconceivable just a few years earlier, exhibited the drastic shift in the values of society at the time. Regardless of one’s opinions on the subject of prostitution, the very emergence of prostitution as an option truly depicts how much societal views were altered by the extreme circumstances of the 1930s.

The major shifts in education, family life, and social and moral views were prompted by the defining events of the 1930s: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. People and society were pushed to the absolute limit during this time of immense hardship. The extreme circumstances that society experienced undoubtedly impacted the institutions, interactions, and ethics of people,

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