Hire a tutor

How did American society change as a result of the Great Depression?

The Great Depression led to significant societal changes in America, including increased government intervention and shifts in public attitudes towards welfare and capitalism.

The Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1939, was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s. It began in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 29, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. The Great Depression had devastating effects in both rich and poor countries. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%.

One of the most significant changes was the increased role of the federal government in the economy. Prior to the Depression, the government had a limited role in economic affairs, but the severity of the crisis led to the implementation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. This series of programmes, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations was a response to the needs for relief, recovery, and reform. It marked a significant shift towards a mixed economy, where both the private sector and the state have a role in economic affairs.

The Depression also led to a shift in public attitudes towards welfare and capitalism. Before the Depression, there was a widespread belief in the 'American Dream' - the idea that anyone could achieve prosperity through hard work. However, the economic crisis exposed the vulnerabilities of the capitalist system and led to increased support for welfare programmes. The hardships of the Depression fostered a sense of solidarity among many Americans and led to greater acceptance of government intervention to protect citizens from economic instability.

Furthermore, the Great Depression had a profound impact on American society in terms of gender and race. Women's roles changed as they were forced to work to support their families, challenging traditional gender norms. Meanwhile, African Americans and other minority groups faced increased discrimination and hardship, as they were often the first to be laid off and the last to be hired.

In conclusion, the Great Depression led to significant changes in American society, including increased government intervention, shifts in public attitudes towards welfare and capitalism, and changes in gender and racial dynamics.

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in your Exams with our Free Resources.

Practice Questions, Study Notes, and Past Exam Papers for all Subjects!

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on480 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related History ib Answers

    Read All Answers
    Loading...