Many people lost their homes, causing families, women, and men to seek alternate housing. Women were particularly hard hit by the devastating despair. Their duties in the family became more important. Women were kept busy by the need to acquire food, provide for their families, work, and juggle several children. Many women were forced into prostitution to be able to feed themselves and their children.
Another effect of the depression on women was an increase in suicides. Women made up about half of those who killed themselves. Often they used guns stolen from their husbands' hunting camps.
Women also suffered during the Depression because many jobs available to men didn't require a college degree-and most employers wanted someone with a high school diploma or better. This left out many women who lacked the resources to go to college. It also meant that women had some of the lowest-paying jobs available. Saleswomen, waitresses, and factory workers often made as little as $10 a week; teachers, nurses, and doctors made closer to $50,000 a year.
At the end of the 1930s, another major disaster hit America: World War II. The war brought much-needed employment opportunities for everyone. Men went off to fight and women took over many of the jobs that had previously been done by men. After the war, many men returned home and women moved back into the workforce.
How did the Great Depression affect women, children, and minorities in America? Women were forced to labor and look for odd jobs to support their families' finances. This often meant going back to work inside the home, which conflicted with traditional ideas about women's roles at the time. Families with children needed all the help they could get, so many orphanages and charitable organizations were founded during this time. Organizations like the Salvation Army and YMCA helped those out of work find other jobs, give them free food, and offer any other resources that might be needed.
Minorities were also affected by the Great Depression. Black Americans lost access to land that they had been given after the Civil War, which means they could no longer work it themselves. This also means that they could not afford to pay rent or other loan payments, so they were thrown out of their homes into poverty. Hispanic Americans suffered from discrimination based on race and language ability. Many businesses refused to hire them because they thought they would not come back to work for them once the depression was over.
The list of victims of the Great Depression is long, but there is one thing that everyone can agree on: it was bad. The economy collapsed, causing millions of people across the country to lose their jobs, their houses, and even their life savings.
As multiple banks failed in the early 1930s, millions of households lost their money. Many people lost their houses or were evicted from their flats because they were unable to make mortgage or rent payments. The Depression had a significant impact on both working-class and middle-class households. It destroyed many families' ability to pay for food, heat, and shelter.
During the Great Depression, many families lived in poverty. The average household income was less than $5,000 per year, which is very low by today's standards. Families could not afford to buy the basic necessities of life: food, housing, and clothing. People made do with what they had. If they lacked clothes, they wore old clothes; if they didn't have enough food, they ate soup made from vegetables that they grew in their backyards; and if they couldn't pay their bills, they went to bed hungry.
Family life was difficult for everyone during this time. There were no safety nets, so when one family member got fired from his or her job, the whole family would be affected. Often only the father was able to find work, while the mother took care of the children by herself. Even though women were supposed to obey their husbands, this rule did not always apply in practice. If a husband was drunk or abusive, a wife might leave him for another man. However, she would still need to take care of the children without any help from her ex-husband.
What stresses did the American family face during the Great Depression? Many fathers abandoned their families because they were ashamed of their inability to provide for them. Women worked tirelessly to assist, canning food and sewing garments. Children were frequently hungry and worked instead of attending school. The elderly were left alone many hours each day.
The financial situation of most families was very difficult. People had little or no savings, so they used up their available money on basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. Many businesses went out of business, leaving only the most stable employers with enough work to go around. In some areas of the country, there were even slave labor camps where people went to be indentured servants for several years before being allowed to leave.
About four in ten families lost their home during the Depression. This was the case for both rich and poor, black and white. Only about one in five families was able to stay in their home after losing everything they owned.
It is estimated that 3 million people died due to starvation and disease during the Great Depression. This is more than the number of soldiers who died in all of World War II.
Many people think that because things were better during the 1950s and 1960s that we forgot how bad things really were during the Great Depression. But even today many people do not know what life was like for most families back then.