Hypothesis: The great depression did not affect everyone in the same way. Whilst many rich businessmen hardly felt any impact, ordinary families struggled to make a living and were forced to change their lifestyles to adapt to the conditions.
The Depression changed family life in dramatic ways
A 1940 survey revealed that 1.5 million married women had been abandoned by their husbands.
Between 1929 and 1933 more than 100,000 businesses failed across the nation. People were forced to line up outside soup kitchens in order to get their daily meal. 9,000 banks went out of business and 9 million savings accounts were wiped out. People were unable to pay their house payments and money lenders seized them and drove the owners off the land.
Ordinary people had to either Move into Hoovervilles Become Transients, constantly moving Or
People with construction skills were able to build small houses out of stone.
Most people resorted to building out of wood from crates, cardboard, scraps of metal, or whatever materials that were available to them.
They usually had a small stove, bedding and a couple of simple cooking tools.
Wealthy Businessmen To a select handful of American families, the Great Depression is not a disaster at all but just another business opportunity. The Rockefellers, the Bushes, the Harrimans, the Duponts, the Mellons, the Morgans, the Carnegies, the Dulles brothers, the Dillons, the Warburgs and the rest of the ruling class
Still send their children to exclusive private schools.
How could he not have noticed the Hooverville’s or the giant lines in front of soup kitchens? “One of the strangest things about the depression was that it was so nearly invisible to the naked eye...” Frederick Lewis Allen, 1947 Were they so rich and prosperous that they didn't care? Wealthy people were so wrapped up in their own rich world’s that they were completely oblivious to what was going on outside.
Some weren't so lucky Some unlucky businessmen went from Luxurious house Sleeping on newspaper To Many wealthy Wall Streeters jumped from high office windows, so their families would receive their insurance benefits.
The plan worked! Months later an apple vendor could be found standing over a fruit crate on the corner of every major American city. By the end of November there were six thousand people selling apples in New York. In 1930 International Apple Shippers were faced with an oversupply of fruit and came up with a unique solution to clear out their warehouses and give unemployed businessmen a way to make a little money, they sold apples on credit.