Social Classes By Beniah Brumbaugh Deena DeVito Derek Maseloff
Lower Class The majority of American citizens in the 1930’s were in the lower class. The poorest of the lower class lived in urban areas. The poorest people in the country were minorities. The stock market crashed in1929 starting the Great Depression. People in unskilled jobs were laid off and unable to find work.
Three unemployed men start a fire for cooking in this vacant lot in New York City, where they live when they are not searching for work, March 23, 1932. (AP Photo)
Middle Class Comprised of jobs such as lawyers, and doctors. Many people tried to cover up the seriousness of their financial situation. They did this by spending extravagantly, and sprucing up their homes. Many also practiced invisible thrift. This changed the way they lived by doing their own chores, baking their own bread, and growing their own food. Middle class citizens began to live like lower class citizens
Upper Class The rich lost money in the stock market crash , but ultimately retained their wealth. Many upperclassmen spent more during the depression. The upper class started to dislike the lower class. This heightened tensions between the upper and lower class.
Farm Families Farmers had been on shaky financial ground before the Great Depression They couldn’t sell their goods for what it cost to produce them. Bad weather such as floods, droughts, and dust storms could put them out of business. In the new industrial world, farms could now be operated by machines and a dozen laborers Their farms were sometimes foreclosed.
Annotated Works Cited Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. "To Kill a Mockingbird." Literature and Its Times. Vol. 3. New York: Gale, 1997. 390-96. Print.
This Article gives detailed information on “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the division of social classes in that time period. It covers many different historical and literary elements used in the book. It talks about specific historical events that are taking place at the time of the novel. It describes the complex relationship between white and black people and the social taboos in place for them. It describes the violent hate groups of the time period and the cultural belief that a women’s role was in the home, not in the workplace. It also talks about small-town life in the south, which is important for the setting of this novel. This article also goes into detail about the plot of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, reception of the book when it first came out, and any events in history occurring at the time the novel was written.
Annotated Works Cited Washburn, Carolyn K. "Everyday Life." America in the 20th Century. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2003. 464-79. Print. This article covers the everyday life of American citizens from 1929 – 1934. It goes into great detail about the emotional and economic effect the Great Depression had on Americans. It talks about how difficult this turn of events was for middle-class families and farm families in that era. It also describes how state and local relief failed abysmally to provide life’s necessitates for families in need. When talking about the families it goes into deeper detail about family life and children of different classes. Finally it explains nation-wide setbacks in health and education that effected all but the wealthiest Americans.
Annotated Works Cited Xroads.virginia.edu. "Relations of Class in the Great Depression." Class in the 1930's. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. <http://xroads.virginia.edu>. The editorial found on this website spoke specifically about the effect the Great Depression had on people of all classes in America. It explains how even wealthy people were effected by losing money in the stock market, although many still retained their wealth and jobs. However, much of the lower class was not so lucky. It also goes into detail about new tax policies and the cultural dynamic toward President Roosevelt. It also tells about violence and strikes that broke out in this time period.