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Great Depression - Essay Example

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Women were the direct victims of the Great Depression that defined the 1930s after a fall in stocks creating the worst economic crisis in history (Bernanke, 2009). As this paper will demonstrate, women upped their efforts in averting the negative effects of problem by depending…
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Great Depression Great Depression Women were the direct victims of the Great Depression that defined the 1930s after a fall in stocks creating the worst economic crisis in history (Bernanke, 2009). As this paper will demonstrate, women upped their efforts in averting the negative effects of problem by depending on the New Deal programs established by President Frank. D. Roosevelt.
The lingering ravages of Great Depression are still visible in terms of the economic crises it created to successive generation of families. According to economists, this damaging phenomenon was directly caused by depreciation in stock prices that subsequently led to stock market crash. Among those most affected by the consequences of this catastrophe were white people especially us women. This is because we were tasked to look after families when men lost jobs and banks lacked sufficient amount of money for borrowing. It implies that marriages suffered several hiccups that often delayed courtship and eventually decreased divorce rates. According to government statistics, the expensive legal fees of supporting two families compelled many women to avoid cases of separation of divorce (Berton, 2001). Another consequence as white women involved a significant drop in birth rates thus causing an alarm in the replacement level in the country. A drop of 35 percent during Herbert Hoover’s regime resulted to a loss of income in a span of four years totaling to a drain of $15 million. Therefore, ordinary families experienced a strain in affording household items that could sustain them for a longer period. However, instances of falling apart in case of a decline in resources and income became common, hence, changing roles of both men and women.
Roles and responsibilities hugely affected women who had to fend for their suffering children and jobless husbands. As a result, men suffered a loss of self confidence and esteem forcing a majority to abandon completely the institutions of marriage. In a 1940 survey, close to 1.5 million married women faced divorce cases as a consequence of disagreements with their husbands. Additionally, women broke boundaries and started seeking for employment outside to sustain the welfare of their fledgling families (Freedman, 2005). It indicates the liberties and freedoms that expanded for women because the Great Depression under F.D. Roosevelt’s administration. The New Deal programs were equally a part of government relief initiative because they directly benefited women. For example, the program expanded lower pay scales and enacted legislations that accorded women more power in making economic decisions. Jobs also increased to support more Americans particularly women whose husbands lacked meaningful jobs (Cravens, 2009). Contrastingly, there was legislation under the New Deal that wholly backed white females through reducing cases of job layoffs that usually affected those who in the industries. Overall, women played a fundamental role in ensuring the economic crisis caused by a fall in stocks did not cause many deaths.
It, therefore, is essential to acknowledge women in raising strong generations that overcame the Great Depression in spite of the challenges of the 1930s. The step will embolden those still tackling the ripple effects of global inflation that started in 2008.
References
Bernanke, B. (2009). Essays on the Great Depression. Mason, OH: Routledge.
Berton, P. (2001). The Great Depression: 1929-1939. New York, NY: SAGE.
Cravens, H. (2009). Great Depression: People and Perspectives. Mason, OH: ABC-CLIO.
Freedman, R. (2005). Children of the Great Depression. New York, NY: SAGE. Read More
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