American Outcasts : The Okie Exodus

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American Outcasts: The Okie Exodus On the notorious “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929, Wall Street suffered a massive financial collapse due to heavy trading prices on the New York Stock Exchange. President Hoover claimed the U.S. business was “on a sound and prosperous basis,” but he couldn’t have been any further from the truth. The collapse of the U.S. economy, which was the largest in the world, created a global financial shockwave that could be felt across the globe. By 1931, the effects of Depression affected not only the U.S., but the world. “By 1933, 30 million people in industrial nations were unemployed, five times the number of unemployed four years before” (Starr 54). During the Great Depression, unemployment rates…show more content…
The series of articles from John Steinbeck’s Harvest Gypsies finds that those who lived in These people were tenant farmers or sharecroppers, who lost their homes and were migrant workers, and lived in extended families. A combination of rural and urban people with no government relief. Many people in the United States were tenant farmers or sharecroppers before the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, many of these tenant farmers or sharecroppers were forced off the land, because either their labor could not be afforded, or the land wasn’t arable as was the place in the Plains region. Originally, the government under Herbert Hoover didn’t believe it was the government’s responsibility to re-stimulate the economy. Once elected, Roosevelt would reverse Hoover’s hand-off, laissez-faire approach to the tankered economy by taking a more hands-on, socialistic approach; raising interest rates on loans, tax rates, and reducing the acreage allotted to farms- the beginning of his New Deal policies(Kennedy 168). “Farm income had declined sixty percent between 1929 and 1932. A third of all American farmers lost their land”(Brinkley 655). Many tenant farmers and sharecroppers their wages couldn’t be paid or the bank repossessed the land. The Joad’s from The Grapes of Wrath represents the tenant farmers who lost their land. Many sharecroppers from the South and midwestern plains of

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