The Great Depression
During the entire history of humanity, individuals have suffered from various problems, including wars, poverty and, social instability. Nevertheless, there are some episodes in the course of history that had enormous influence on the development of the world. The bright example can be the Great Depression. This event dramatically changed the life of millions of people all over the world. Although it emerged in the U.S., it had a huge impact on the other countries respectively. Consequently, one may admit that the Great Depression forced Americans to face a negative perspective of reality, namely poverty, grief, and even death. People realized the fact that money is an instable notion. Once it comes, it can quickly disappear.
The initial reason of the Great Depression was the changes in the world stock. In accordance with John Kenneth Galbraith, the reasons for the Great Depression included poor banking structures, as well as economic misinformation. Basically, the Great Depression started in 1929 and lasted till the 1930s (Roth, 2010). It became the largest economic depression of the 20th century. Moreover, it was a bright example to follow for the 21st-century economy. The depression started when the stock market crashed. This day was also called Black Tuesday (Roth, 2010). Consequently, the Great Depression influenced both the rich and the poor. As a result, unemployment rate increased to 25%, while in other countries it grew to 33%. Various industries had to close. Speaking about farming, this segment suffered dramatically. The prices of crops dropped to 60% (Roth, 2010). In the 1930s, the countries started to recover, but in many states the negative impact of the Great Depression lasted till the beginning of World War II.
Despite the fact that the crash of the stock market was considered to be a reason of the Great Depression, some economists believe that the collapse was a symptom of the Great Depression. According to John Rockefeller, the Great Depression was the time of great disturbances. Nevertheless, he admits that the money always returned to their owner (“The Great Depression,” 2015). Consequently, the government and business sector cooperated greatly in order to recover from the Great Depression. Nevertheless, the customers faced severe losses in the stock; they cut back the expenditures approximately by 10%.
Speaking about farming sector, the conditions were extremely terrible. The product prices dropped and unemployment increased. The collapse of the American economy influenced all spheres of human life. Farming was not an exception. Despite worsening of the American economy, the Great Depression destroyed all possible economic cooperation on the international level. Consequently, the international trading was impossible. Furthermore, the living conditions of the farm families were even worse. The government programs assisted them to overcome the difficulties, but it swapped the agriculture prosperity forever. Farming families lived without heat, light, and even indoor bathrooms. People tried to survive and used their cattle for feeding the families. Most of the individuals who grew up during the Depression might admit that the poverty was inevitable. The citizens had no money and lived in terrible living conditions.
Despite the economic threat, farmers faced weather impact as well. Initially, heat, grasshoppers, and dryness damaged the crops, thus, farmers did not have enough money to buy groceries (“Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression,” 2015). As a result, many individuals started working for the government. The basic jobs were road and bridge building. Taking into consideration all the above mentioned conditions, the government decided to improve the life of farmers. By 1940, the economic situation became stable and the government provided federal programs to increase farm prices. Moreover, an additional federal program was to supply electricity to the farmhouses. Nevertheless, these changes occurred after lasting sufferings and dissatisfaction of farmer. Although their life improved, the nasty period of time would still be in their memory.
The Great Depression had an enormous impact on average Americans. Most of the individuals underwent hardships and poverty. The families suffered the most. The experts think of depression in terms of money, not in terms of human affliction. One of the negative impacts of the Great Depression was lack of new families. Individuals were not able to get married. The reason was that people realized their incapability to support families. Consequently, they did not give birth to children since they could not afford them. Additionally, most of the men had to leave their families to find a job. Families broke, and the level of divorcement increased. Nevertheless, the worst thing was that families lost belief in prosperous life. They felt miserable and unprotected.
One more significant fact is the boost of the criminal rate during the Great Depression. Many unemployed workers started committing thefts in order to bring food to their families (“Social and Cultural Effects of the Depression,” 2015). Moreover, the suicide rate increased, since individuals could not undergo terrible living as well as working conditions. The prostitution was on the rise, because women tried to find any possible way of earning money to pay the bills. Alcoholism boosted as Americans looked for an escape. Consequently, one may admit that America suffered from the enormous impact of the Great Depression. Taking into account the level of the American life, it seems that the country was at the verge of collapse. The quick improvement of the economy was of a paramount importance for the U.S. It enabled to save the country from the decline.
In conclusion, the Great Depression influenced not only economic, but also social and cultural life. Americans were at the verge of poverty and collapse. They found alternative ways of survival. Consequently, it led to the increase of crime rate, prostitution, and alcoholism. Nevertheless, in the 1940s, the situation changed. The life was improved, and people started living without any fears. However, the grief will remain forever in the minds and hearts of the U.S. citizens.