The Great Depression was an extremely difficult time for the American family. The effects of the depression, both during and after, substantially influenced the structure, finances, and employment of the American family unit. Although the family changed substantially throughout the depression, families reverted to more traditional roles after the depression. Possibly the best impact was how the structure of the American family altered.
The American family structure was challenged during the Great Depression. The daddy’s expectation was to be the head of the home and provide for their families. Since there were fewer jobs, their roles were frequently reversed (‘Great Depression in the United States,’ 2009). Guy typically cared for the home and the children, which was traditionally thought about women’s work.
Numerous fathers invested there looking for work that didn’t even exist. Really few were able to bring home a paycheck. They felt stress and anxiety and unimportance for failing to provide financially for their families. This desperation triggered lots of fathers to steal food so that their families would not go hungry. They did exactly what they needed to do to endure (Kidder, 2003).
Throughout this period, it was traditional for mommies to stay home and look after their families. However, numerous women were compelled to work beyond the home to provide for their families. Women typically worked in making jobs, teaching, nursing, domestic service, and office work (‘The Depression and World War II,’ 2007).
Children were needed at home to complete different tasks such as cooking and cleaning because the family structure was altered. Also, numerous children had to give up school to help at home and to supply economical for their families. When their parent might not, children were able to find jobs sometimes. Fathers began to presume a bigger function in raising the children (Kidder, 2003).
The psychological structure of the family was also changed. Children frequently had to console their depressed and sad moms and dads (‘Great Depression in the United States’, 2009). They needed to essentially be the head of the household. Children experienced emotional injury throughout the Great Depression. They were required to worry about things that they never needed to face in the past.
The traditional family structure became virtually non-existent throughout the depression. It generally boiled down to the whole family working to endure. This survival mode was due to the absence of finances needed to offer their families.
There were a number of reasons people did not have enough money. Among the main factors was because of the stock market crash, likewise referred to as ‘Black Tuesday.’ Lots of Americans invested their whole life cost savings in the market only to lose everything. The cash lost was in their homes, children’s education and living expenses (‘The Crash of 1929,’ 1990).
In addition to the stock exchange crash, banks started closing all throughout America. These banks made loans to people that could not repay them. Some banks also lost money since they likewise bought the stock market. When people began to draw their money out of banks, they didn’t have money to give them. This caused panic and over 5,000 banks failed by March 1933 (‘Great Depression in the United States,’ 2009). These bank closures triggered many families to lose all the cash that had actually which caused challenged. They no longer can provide for their families.
After banking and federal loans that caused speculation brought the Stock Market Crash, there was a mass frenzy of worried people gathered to banks and drew out as much money as they could. Banks lost money so quickly with the withdrawals that it caused enormous deflation, and countless banks were compelled to close in 1930. The monetary troubles of banks caused them to employ loans from people and put repossessions on houses. When people were forced to give up their homes and money, they were not able to buy customer items that the nation had actually ended up being dependent on. Without products having to be made, factories constantly lay off employees to take care of the shortage of demand and were ultimately forced to close. When both foreign and domestic banks started to collapse, american joblessness rose to the highest on record.
And for a lot of it only became worse. Companies began to close and many jobs were lost. One in four Americans was jobless ‘The Depression in the United States-An Overview, unknown’. Lots of were compelled to reside in boxes and sacks.
Poverty-stricken Americans did not have enough to eat and some were required to find their food in dumps or consume weeds. Some were likewise required to consume other things such as turtle to battle appetite (‘A Photo Essay on the Great Depression,’ 2000). Many waited hours in bread and soup lines so they wouldn’t starve. Every day was a difficulty for survival of the American family.
An individual, unpublished memoir by Anna Mae Aardema depicts a middle-class way of living during the Great Depression. When the Great Depression started, Anna Mae was 9 years old.
This is just one example of life during the depression. The middle-class families became poor and worst families ended up being destitute. Many caring families helped others throughout this time if they were able to. A sense of community emerged from the occasions of the depression. Sometimes, the community served as a relation. They helped each other with things such as child care and food.
As soon as the depression ended, the family structure began to go back to traditional kind. This was short lived due to WWII. Women often had to work for their families while their partners were at war (‘American Cultural History,’ 1999). Essentially the effects of the Great Depression began a long-term development in women working beyond the home. This was not the only change that arose from the Great Depression.
Americans discovered to accept the government participation in their lives. Before the depression, each family managed their lives and lived extremely separate from the government. They found out to trust in the government (‘Great Depression in the United States,’ 2009). Government social programs began and a social duty was expected. One of the most impactful programs started was the Social Security Act of 1935. This act ensured government assistance to U.S. residents who were handicapped, unemployed and older Americans. Social Security is still a part of America in 2009.
Furthermore, the American family discovered the best ways to look after the neediest members in the community. They discovered the best ways to care for each other and support others in bad times. The depression, altered many individuals’s mindsets about society and their roles in the community. They embraced an attitude of ‘community, cooperation, and empathy’ (‘Great Depression in the United States,’ 2009). The attitude of looking after others in the community led America to a more socialist attitude.
In conclusion, the Great Depression greatly impacted the American family. The effects consisted of the structure, finances and employment of the family unit. The hardships and difficulties created a socially mindful society and a new rely on the American government. The American family was likewise temporarily changed during the depression, however, started a progression of women working outside of the home.