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What were the effects of the depression on the USA?

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What were the effects of the depression on the USA? At the end of the 1920s the United States went in to the Great Depression. The depression affected the American people awfully, it threw millions into unemployment and also throwing several millions into lives of famine, homelessness and hopelessness The depression devastated the Americans and starvation was a real threat to the American people. An example of this was in Chicago where some women would pick rubbish for scraps of food for their family. The millions of unemployed and their families had to live with hunger, exhaustion and the fear of homelessness. Many people were forced into homelessness because they could not afford to pay for the rent or mortgage. ...read more.


Charities ran out of funds, for example, by 1932 the Red Cross could only give 75 cents a week to each family in need. The unemployed found it very difficult to become employed because industries where cutting back on jobs because of overproduction and factories were closing down. The number of businesses that collapsed in 1929 was about 20,000 and this reached a peak of about 30,000 in 1932. Obviously the number of bankruptcies had an impact on the number of people who were out of work and there were about 12 million unemployed people in 1932. Furthermore the average family's income dropped from $2300 to $1600 in 1932. The government had made mistakes and did little to overcome these problems, for example taxes were reduced on the wealthy in the hope that they would invest in new factories and hire workers, but this did not happen. ...read more.


Many of these, having lost their homes and farms, left with their families to search for work elsewhere. Herbert Hoover became President in 1928. When the Wall Street Crash happened he tried to reassure Americans that it was just temporary and that 'prosperity is just around the corner'. Although things showed no signs of improving, he was reluctant to help those affected by the Depression. He believed in 'rugged individualism' (people should look after themselves and stand on their own two feet). He appealed to businesses and charities to do what they could to help. By the time his government began to take action in 1932 it was too late. Hoover had lost the trust of the people. 'In Hoover we trusted, now we are busted,' became a popular saying. The Great depression was the worst economic decline in the history of the USA. Gary Chambers ...read more.

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