Katherine L. Kaidan
During the 20
Century, the United States underwent some of its most drastic and sudden
events that truly tested the American citizens’ will to survive. Between becoming intertwined in one
war right after another and the stock market crashing with the Great Depression that followed soon
after, many families were torn apart or forced to move to find a better life away from the only home and
way of life they have ever known. Husbands and sons were drafted into the army to be sent over to
Europe for front line combat, leaving their wives alone taking care of all the children and to find some
way to bring in money to live on, while farmers over planted their land to have more to sell, and it
turned their once rich soil into an ashy dust that could no longer be used and were forced to move out
west in search of new work.
The United States entered in the 1920’s still involved in World War I, but life in America
was anything but worrisome and hard. This era names the “Roaring Twenties” was full of life, music,
and dancing. Jazz music had taken people by storm. This lively, fast paced music kept people having
fun and their mind off the troubles the nation was having with the war. Women had abandoned the
traditional poised Victorian lifestyle and were wearing short dresses, drinking at nightclubs, and going
out dancing and having fun. They soon got the name “flappers” which meant “new breed”.
also known as the “Ambivalent Decade. They wanted the promises of progress, but then pretended like
nothing had changed. It was like they ‘wanted to have their cake, and eat it too’”.
This “euphoric” lifestyle was suddenly changed on October 24, 1929. The stock market
crashed to an all time low level causing people to panic. The House of Morgan stepped in and gave a
large sum of money to put the market back on its feet. But, by the following Tuesday, the market
crashed once more, and no one could afford to save it this time. People spent what little money they
had on chares of stock in hopes that the market would pick itself back up, but after some time, it was
apparent that the market was not going to pick up any time soon, and no one could sell their share of
stock for more than what they had purchased. With the marketing still at an all time low, and industries
not being able to prosper, this brought on the age of the Great Depression.
The impact of "Black Tuesday" led to bank failures because speculators who had borrowed
from banks to buy their stocks could not repay the loans because they could not sell their stocks Banks,
stores, and factories were closed and left millions of Americans jobless, homeless, and with no hope of
obtaining any sort of. Many people came to depend on the government or charities to provide them with
food, shelter, and money, but with so many seeking help, they ran out of resources quickly. Because
people had no money to live in a house, “Shanty-towns” were created in the outskirts of major cities.
These were “communities” of houses mad out of garbage, mud, pretty much anything that could make