The Great Depression Of The 1930s

Decent Essays

The Great Depression of the 1930s is notably one of the greatest crises of American history. During this time frame the American economy collapsed in great part because of factors such as the existence of massive wealth inequality, the dust bowl that started in the Great Plains, and the rampant business speculation of the 1920’s. These factors helped turn an awful economic depression into what would be called an all-out social crisis. Bread lines and soup kitchens became a common occurrence in American cities. Thousands of families were evicted from their homes everyday, and took to the streets hoping for some type of assistance. Throughout this time of struggle many American citizens took to writing the white house and its officials in an …show more content…

The men of the family were less likely to write the white house because of their fear of being looked at as weak or incapable of providing for their family. This fear is shown in several of the letters, including a letter written by a mother to President Roosevelt. In the letter the mother asks for money to help feed her family and concludes the letter with stating, “if my husban new this he could Kill me.” In chapter three of the text by McElvaine there is a letter that stands as an example of a female American citizen pleading to the first lady for clothes. However, what differentiates this letter from the majority is that this individual is not asking for her family, but asking of a spring coat for herself. In this letter the woman by the name of Mrs. J.T. addresses the first lady at the time, Eleanor Roosevelt, as “My Dear Friend”. This intimate greeting supports the idea that the American population at the time felt as though the Roosevelt’s understood the daily struggle of living through the depression. These citizens were comfortable confiding in them and sharing their hardships. A belief that the government including the Roosevelt’s would provide much-needed relief to the country came with this sense of comfort and intimacy. Not all American citizens, however, wrote to the white house in need of clothes or money. The Works

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