How did the Great Depression affect Americans?

How the Depression affected urban Americans and Americans in the countryside. The Dust Bowl and migrants.

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 12-06-10 20:58

How did the Depression affect urban Americans?

In the 1920s, factory and office workers who had been doing well lost their jobs in the Depression. Thousands moved in with their relatives, but many people without relatives ended up on the streets. Some even tried getting arrested because a night in prison meant a bed and food. Public relief programmes provided clothes, food, jobs and temporary homes. Rich people and private charities organised soup kitchens and cheap meals, but still one fifth of all children living in New York were undernourished.

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How did the Depression affect farmers?

People struggled to buy even basic goods like food and water. Farmers couldn't sell their products so wheat and fruit were allowed to rot. Farm animals were killed rather than sold. Many farms went bankrupt and farmers were evicted by banks. As farmers could not afford to buy food from others, they could not buy from farmers. Some people went days without food, some starved to death. Many went through bins for something to eat.

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What was the Dust Bowl?

There was draught and overfarming, which meant the soil quality got worse. Then farmers couldn't afford to grow crops, so all the dirt turned to dust, which was brought up by storms and high winds. When dust clouds settled over a large area, it would become a desolate place like a desert.

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Why did some people become migrants?

In the 1920s, farmers from the South and mid-west had to move out (migrate). They weren't earning enough and the land was exhausted of minerals. They went to California for jobs and thought it was good when they got there, but were unwelcome as people in California were struggled too.

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