ENGWR 302-T/TH 5:30 PM 01 April, 2014
Poverty in America
Poverty in America was at one time like many of the third world countries are today. In the building of our great country it took many lives due to starvation. The first ships that landed on the east coast back in the late 1500’s with Gentlemen’s and Sailors as the majority, literally starved to death according to Freedom On My Mind, “The first English colonist hoped to live off the riches of the New World, Known as “adventures,” they consisted largely of gentlemen and sailors, but they would find no precious metals or valuable commodities in Virginia. Instead they could barely feed themselves” (Debra 57). It took them several attempts to build a solid foundation for survival in this new land. They actually had to learn from the Native Americans that where here already, how to fish, hunt and farm. It’s very important to understand all the facts behind a situation that has become so bad that people are starving to death. Like many of the first colonist that starved to death they lacked the knowledge in how to survive in this new land. Many of them were gentlemen who never worked a day in their lives. The rest were sailors, all they knew was how to sail a ship. They both lack the skills of survival. Ultimately it took trial and error to get it right in order for them to establish a plan that would sustain a food supply that could keep them alive.
There also are certain crises that can have an adverse effect on its inhabitants. For instance, in America we had the Civil War that caused a great number of people to actually starve to death. Being that the South were the crop growers in America at this time when the war broke out a lot of the southerners burned their own fields of crops instead of letting the North get a hold of them and those that they did not burn the North burned. This stopped the essential necessities that kept America eating. Their goal was to leave nothing of use behind. This put a very serious problem on the food supply so many people did in fact starve to death.
The Great Depression was another crisis that had an impact on America and its people starving actually to death. This was the fall of the stock market that left people broke; I am aware of many people who did in fact starve to death because of this crisis. President Herbert Hoover declared, "Nobody is actually starving. The hoboes are better fed than they have ever been. But in New York City in 1931, there were 20 known cases of starvation; in 1934, there were 110 deaths caused by hunger. There were so many accounts of people starving in New York that the West African nation of Cameroon sent $3.77 in relief” (Steven Mintz and Sara McNeil).
As America has grown into the great country that it is, it has learned from its historical data. Having contingency plans in effect for all sorts of crisis, it would take a nuclear war or something of the sort or an act of God to cause Americans to actually starve to death today. We as Americans have a welfare system set up to take care of the poor they receive medical, food stamps, and cash aid. This welfare system is setup all over the United States so starving to death in America is not happening unless you choose to! It’s very relieving that hunger in America is nowhere near that of third world countries. So being made aware of what’s going on around the world and the difference in opinion by two great writers Singer and Harden, after analyzing both sides I will have to agree with Singer. We being humanity are the care takers of this world and it’s up to us to sustain equal balance so if people are hungry it is our responsibility to provide for their basic necessities to sustain life like we have done in America..
The welfare system that is in place today in America was a result of the Great Depression; it came into effect in the 1930’s. There are over 12,800,000 people on welfare today; that does not