Essay on The Great Depression
The Great Depression is one of the most loathsome times in American history. More people sank below the poverty line than ever before.
Many people were shocked because the great depression came on suddenly, especially to those who previously were fairly prosperous. Many people become extremely poor and they lost their jobs. 25% percent of Americans in the labor force were without work. It left many people and families without food or shelter, two of our most basic needs could not be met. That was until the soup kitchens arrived.
The first soup kitchen was started by Al Capone. He started the soup kitchen because he wanted to redeem himself from his previous crimes. Capon’s soup kitchen served 3 meals a day to insure that everyone that had lost his job could get a decent meal. The main reason they were provided with soup as a meal was because soup was inexpensive and could be watered down to make it last longer. Soup kitchens were originally ran and organized by churches and private charities. One of the most famous soup kitchens was located in Detroit, and it was called the Capuchin Services Center.
It served about 1,500 to 3,000 people a day on average. Then eventually around 1930 the state and federal government started to set more up and help organize and run them. Pretty soon every city and town had their own soup kitchen. There are still soup kitchens around America today but now they don’t only serve soup. The soup kitchen took care of the need for food, but for those who couldn’t afford houses where did they live? The answer is hoovervilles. Hoovervilles was name for town that the poor and homeless built and lived in because they didn’t have a real place to call home.
Hoovervilles were also called tent cities because that is want many of their living spaces looked like. They were temporary and very poor built. They were named after Herbert Hoover because many people blamed him for their hard times and for the nation’s depression. They were usually built on flat unused land and were often removed by the police for trespassing on private land. Many occupants were hobos and tramps. A hobo is different from a tramp because a tramp isn’t willing to work unless they are forced too.
Hobos on the other hand are wondering travelers that are always on constant search for jobs. Hobos don’t generally stay at one job for more than a year. In order to travel many hobos hopped ride on freight trains. There they endured harsh treatment from the railroad workers. Railroad’s security was nicknames bulls for their notorious rough treatment with trespassers. Besides being homeless, without money, or support the life of a hobo was dangerous.
One hobo by the name of W.H Davies lost his well trying to hop aboard a railroad train. Hobos were not as uncivilized as people made them seem. They had they own code of behavior. They also helped one another out by leaving different symbols on signs and anything else they could find. Depending on the symbol it meant that it was a safe place or dangerous place to stay.
They also used symbols to head warning to other hobos. Hobos who usually helped on farms found it extremely difficult to find work on a farm during the dust bowl. Dust Bowl struck the United States with an unrelenting merciless iron fist. The Dust Bowl eventually lead into the worse drought ever recorded in American History. The Dust was also called the Black Blizzard.
At first the only places affected by the dust bowl was the Dust Bowl region. The Dust Bowl region consists of southeastern Colorado, southwest Kansas, and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. In 1933 alone there were 38 dust storms. Millions of farm land was devastated by the dust storms by the end of 1935.The greats effect of the Dust Bowl was not of the wasted farm land, but of the people that had to find new home and a new way of income.
People could not even go for a walk without being overcome with dust. If they went outside then they had to wear a rag or cloth to cover their mouths and noses. The women put wet clothes and linen over their windows in hope to keep the dust and dirt out of their homes. Farmers watched as their crops were decimated and carried off with the dust, leaving them with our food or any other form of income. They lack of crops eventually worsted the depression to worldwide.
Family end up having to move in hope of finding an income, food, in shelter, but very few got even a shelter let alone food or an income for that matter. The necessary movement of people only added to the number of starving homeless people throughout the United States. In the most depression time of the nation it something to lift it up. That’s were Hollywood came in to play. Hollywood used movies and actor to help encourage people and raise their hopes of surviving the Great Depression.
At first Hollywood consider itself to be Depression proof, that later would be proven wrong. Studios debts doubled and in many other cases even tripled. Many movies put out were of the comedy nature. The movies were trying to weak the burdens of the people’s heart even if it was only temporary. Though many people didn’t think it was possible at the time the country pulled itself out of the depression.
Though it took a whole different president to bring about the end of the depression, we as a country made it through. It should that it took both the government and its people to get through the rough times.