The Great Depression was an economic depression that affected in many countries, lasting from 1929 to late 1930’s. During this period, unemployment in America was at an all time high, spiking from 3 million to 12 million. There were a select few who managed to keep their jobs, but pay cuts became a common problem for them, and businesses didn’t feel like taking risks that would get them bankrupt.
Throughout the time, even in the lowest point of the Great Depression, 75% of the workforce remained unemployed. As people lost their jobs, they also began losing their houses due to being unable to pay for mortgage.
One of the linked reason to the depression being so long was a series of dust storms in southern states, named the ‘Dust Bowl’. People who happened to be in the states where these storms occurred started moving towards states which were less effected, thus making the depression longer. While it wasn’t a cause of it, the Dust Bowl did help the severity.
Poverty rates skyrocketed, and due to this, starvation became a prevalent and growing problem in America. During this time, many Americans also learned to recycle and reuse pretty much anything. Soup and bread kitchens were started, to help combat this, but the lines to which were always very long, revealing the problem.
It became increasingly difficult for people to provide for themselves and their families. Children in cities took this depression arguably harder than anyone else, having to learn to fend for themselves and make due with whatever they could find.
Hebert Hoover, 31st President of the United States, but the Secretary of Commerce at the time, made it a goal of his to establish long-term mortgages, but with people being unable to pay them and banks shutting down, homelessness still prevailed. The problem got even worse with the Dust Bowl, with many people coming up south to find a house, only to do the same thing many homeless Americans did.
The Great Depression was also a period in time where crime gangs started popping up, and crime sprees became common. Surfacing famous gangsters such as Al Capone, ‘Baby Face Nelson’, John Dillinger, and a brutal gang named the Barker Gang. These crime incidents lead to the creation of the Bureau of Investigation, which later became the FBI.
At this point, Herbert Hoover’s reputation was tarnished by the depression, and had little to no chance of winning presidential election again. However, the depression soon deteriorated, with a man named Franklin Delano Roosevelt becoming president of the United States.