The 1930's were grueling for the majority of the American population. However, it wasn't always like this. The decade before was a prosperous time for any American. New technologies were taking places, stock values kept rising higher than ever, and the industry was booming in the United States. People thought things would only get better, but as stock prices continued to rise, it reached levels that could not be justified by anticipated future earnings by the end of 1929 (The Great Depression).
On October 24, 1929, the stock market finally crashed as investors kept on cashing in their investments over the years. Millions of stocks became worthless, worth from twenty-four dollars to three cents. Investors lost tons of money and those who had borrowed money were wiped out completely. Although it did not impact the people immediately, since only 2.5% of the population had stocks, it did affect factories and other businesses (The Great Depression).
Many businesses started slowing down in production, and people were getting fired. Factories started shutting down. The American working class had no jobs. No jobs means that they can't buy anything. The consumer goods were running ahead of the average person's ability to buy them. American's were forced to rely on credit to buy just the basic needs, making them fall into debt. Banks failed to give back money to the people. This called for them to call mortgages from homes and businesses, leaving many families homeless, farmless, and stranded. Many families were left into poverty, and many also became desperate for food. Around this time banks began to fail. In 1929 at the beginning of the depression, 600 banks closed. By 1931, 2,000 banks closed. Between 1929 and 1933, 10,763 of the 24,970 commercial banks in the United States failed (McNeese 31-35).
But where was President Hoover to help the people? Hoover had optimistic views, and didn't even address the problem until weeks later.