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President Hoover and the Great Depression

            Many times throughout history the United States has undergone economic depression. The most recognized period of economic depression is called the Great Depression. The Great Depression is well known because of the seriousness of the stock market crash. The results of the crash were more serious than any other crash throughout American History. The Great Depression caused a change in the nature of the American family, an increase in poverty, and President Herbert Hoover's proposal for immediate action by the government, balanced his belief in "rugged individualism" with the economic necessities. While most Americans are familiar with the Great Depression as a time of economic disaster, it also had an impact on the American Family life. There were obvious differences in the classes as a result of the Great Depression. The lower and the middle classes changed considerably, but the upper class lifestyle did not vary a great deal. (Simmons 41) The father's role as head of the household became more challenging because there were fewer jobs. The expectation was for fathers to work and support their families. The reality of the lower class was that few men brought home paychecks. Some fathers suffered anxiety and a feeling of worthlessness for failing to provide for their families. Many resorted to stealing food and money just to survive. (Simmons 41) Women were offered greater opportunities in the work force, however they tended to take the position of stay-at-home mothers. According to Simmons "Men resented employed women for they felt that they were occupying jobs that could be given to unemployed men."(Simmons 43) Children in the lower class were expected to get an education so that they could improve their situation. In addition they were needed at home to help with household chores. Unfortunately, many poor children dropped out of school because of their obligations at home. Children in the middle class were better than those in the lower class.

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