The 1930s

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 9 pages 0.0

The 1930s was a decade dominated by the gravest economic crisis the country had ever faced. In fact, for most Americans the Great Depression and the 1930s became synonymous. Americans would learn to view themselves and their government in a brand new way. During the 1930s Americans who enjoyed an unprecedented era of personal freedom, independence, and wealth came to realize that only by working together under the strong leadership of the government could they combat the Great Depression and other struggles brought on during this period of time. Technological developments such as the radio, television, comic books, and motion pictures brought many Americans together like never before. This created a national identity and the beginnings of an American consumer culture.

When Herbert Carver Hoover, a Republican, was sworn in on March 4, 1929, the country?s gross national product (GNP) was at an all-time high of $204 billion and on Wall Street, the stock market was soaring (Through the Decades 7).

Hoover predicted an era of expanding social and economic systems. He pledged increased support for education, health, and law enforcement in the nation?s growing cities. Unfortunately on October 24, 1929, also known as Black Thursday, the bottom of the stock market fell out and people fled to banks to save their life savings. Many major corporations, as well as small businesses failed, and people were forced to live in harsh conditions in order to survive. Shantytowns, also known as Hoovervilles, sprang up across the nation?s major cities. Most people associated the Great Depression of the 30s with Hoover, and wanted him to provide direct relief to the poor through the government. Instead of advocating government intervention, Hoover believed bolstering industry would benefit everyone because it would create jobs and the increased profits would ?trickle down? and stimulate the economy...