Great Depression Issues the Great Essay
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There was little support for an Equal Rights Amendment, largely due to the belief that there were other problems to solve first, but the mindset of women was well set for what would be their need in the workforce during World War II. However, while large numbers of women worked during the Depression, scholars often see their status slightly decreasing because the American Federation of Labor, for one, did not allow women to join unions and pushed employeers to hire men (Moran)
Minorities -- Most of America's minorities did not benefit from Roosevelt's New Deal Programs. They were considered the "last hired, first fired" regardless of their tenure with the company, and because so many White Males were out of work, had a tougher time finding employment. A shortage of jobs in the American Southwest, however, led to the illegal deportation of 400,000 Mexican-Americans just so Whites could take those jobs. For many Black Americans who were more inclined to the arts (music, dance, literature, etc.), though, New York City's Harlem Neighborhood became a santuary of less racism and opportunities to join the emerging Black Cultural Movement, now known as the Harlem Renaissance. This is the time of the development of the Blues as an artform, helping create social interaction between Whites and Blacks. Still, this was New York, and although some of the segregation philosophy spread to other major urban areas, most of the country, particularly the South, remained staunchly racist (Feagin).
Race Relations -- Race relations during the Depression was often location dependent. In small rural
areas, many minorities lived in tandem with Whites, each helping the other out when possible. However, in more competitive rural markets, and particularly urban areas, the competition for jobs was endemic, causing many Whites to become even more racist than ever. In New York, the production of Black led musicals, publishing of books and poetry, and the Jazz Clubs led many Whites to become more liberally accepting. However, the Depression likely emphasized the class distinctions between the White and Blacks, with whom there were several distinct tiers, ranging from highly racist to rabidly liberal (Briggs)
Conclusions -- The Great Depression changed America in many ways; socially, culturally, economically. More programs were put in place to protect the financial health of America and to regulate fiscal entitites. Family roles changed, and those who grew up during this period, even when times were better, never forgot the sacrifices and privation they endured. Still, the 1930s set the stage for America's entry into the global marketplace as the economic and political leader Post-World War II.
"America in the 1930s." June 2009. EyeWitnessesto History.com. Web. March 2013. .
Briggs, J. "1930's Race Relations in the American South." 3 March 2004. mgagnon.myweb.uga.edu. Web. March 2013. .
Feagin, J. Racist America: Roots, Current Relaities, and Future Reparations. New York: Routledge, 200. Print.
Moran, M. "1930s America: A Feminist Void?" April 1989. loyno.edu. Web. March 2013. .
Rothbard, M. America's Great Depression. New York: Mises Institute, 2008. Print.
Srigley, K. Breadwinning Daughters -= Young Working Women in a Depression-Era City. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 2010. Print.
"The Great Depression: A Brief Overview." June 2004. todaysteacher.com. March 2013. .
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