Essay about Great Depression and New Deal Programs

Submitted By sbanks99
Words: 1225
Pages: 5

~Age of Hardships~ | | | | | | Stock Market CrashOct 29, 1929 | After nearly a decade of optimism and prosperity, the United States was thrown into despair on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed. As stock prices plummeted with no hope of recovery, panic struck. Masses and masses of people tried to sell their stock, but no one was buying. The stock market, which had appeared to be the surest way to become rich, quickly became the path to bankruptcy. Since many banks had also invested large portions of their clients' savings in the stock market, these banks were forced to close when the stock market crashed. Seeing a few banks close caused another panic across the country. Afraid they would lose their own savings, people rushed to banks that were still open to withdraw their money. This massive withdrawal of cash caused additional banks to close. Since there was no way for a bank's clients to recover any of their savings once the bank had closed, those who didn't reach the bank in time also became bankrupt. Businesses and industry were also affected. Having lost much of their own capital in either the Stock Market Crash or the bank closures, many businesses started cutting back their workers' hours or wages. In turn, consumers began to curb their spending, refraining from purchasing such things as luxury goods. This lack of consumer spending caused additional businesses to cut back wages or, more drastically, to lay off some of their workers. | Scottsboro TrialsApril 1931-March 1932 | In 1931, nine young black men were accused of rape by two hobo-ing white girls. The girls accused the men because they were afraid of being arrested for prostitution and being a minor. To help make the story more believable, a white group of men said they were kicked off the trains. The black guys were immediately sent to trials in Alabama. The trials went on for over a year and it was the longest trials in history. In the end, most of them got death by electrocution chair. This was one of the worst trials in history. | The Dust Bowl(1930s) | During this time, the Great Plains were hit with a horrendous drought that damaged forever. Years and years of not correctly tending to their farmland caused the grass to disappear. With just topsoil exposed, high winds picked up the loose dirt and whirled it for miles. The dust storms destroyed everything in their paths, leaving farmers without their crops. Small farmers were hit especially hard. Even before the dust storms hit, the invention of the tractor drastically cut the need for manpower on farms. These small farmers were usually already in debt, borrowing money for seed and paying it back when their crops came in. When the dust storms damaged the crops, not only could the small farmer not feed himself and his family, he could not pay back his debt. Banks would then foreclose on the small farms and the farmer’s family would be both homeless and unemployed. | “Riding the Rails”1930s | During the Great Depression, millions of people were out of work across the United States. Unable to find another job locally, many unemployed people hit the road, traveling from place to place, hoping to find some work. A few of these people had cars, but most hitchhiked or “rode the rails.” A large portion of the people who rode the rails were teenagers, but there were also older men, women, and entire families who traveled in this manner. They would board freight trains and crisscross the country, hoping to find a job in one of the towns along the way. When there was a job opening, there were often literally a thousand people applying for the same job. Those who weren’t lucky enough to get the job would perhaps stay in a shantytown (known as “Hoovervilles”) outside of town. Housing in the shantytown was built out of any material that could be found freely, like driftwood, cardboard, or even newspapers. The farmers who had lost their…