AMH Chapter 11 Section 2

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Transcript AMH Chapter 11 Section 2

Chapter 11
Section 2
Life During the Great Depression
Bad Times
• The Depression grew
worse during Hoover’s
• Thousands of banks
failed, and thousands of
companies went out of
More Bad Times
• Millions of Americans
were unemployed.
• Many relied on bread
lines and soup
kitchens for food.
• In 1932 alone, some
30,000 companies
went out of business.
Losing Homes
• Many people could
not afford to pay
their rent or
mortgage and lost
their homes.
• Court officers,
called bailiffs,
evicted nonpaying
• Throughout the country,
newly homeless people
put up shacks on unused
or public land, forming
communities called
• Blaming the president for
their plight, people
referred to these
shantytowns such places
as Hoovervilles.
• Some homeless and
unemployed people
wandered around the
• Known as hobos, they
traveled by sneaking
onto open boxcars on
freight trains.
• Great Plains Farmers
soon faced a new
• When crop prices
decreased in the
1920s, farmers left
many fields
• In 1932, the Great
Plains experienced a
severe drought.
Dust Bowl
• The unplanted soil
turned to dust.
• Much of the Plains
became a Dust Bowl.
• From the Dakotas to
Texas, America's
wheat fields became
a vast “Dust Bowl.”
Heading West
• Many families packed
their belongings into
old cars or trucks and
headed west , hoping
for a better life in
• Still, many remained
homeless and poor.
• Americans turned to
entertainment to escape
the hardships of the
• During the 1930s, more
than 60 million Americans
went to the movies each
week, which features
child stars such as
Shirley Temple who
provided people with a
way to escape their daily
• Millions of people
listened to comedians
such as Jack Benny,
George Burns, and
Gracie Allen.
• Americans also
enjoyed cartoons.
Walt Disney produced
the first feature-length
animated film in 1937.
Even films that
focused on the
serious side of life
were generally
1939 Movies
• Two movies from this
period were The Wizard
of Oz and Gone with the
Wind, both produced in
• Gone with the Wind is a
Civil War epic that won
nine Academy Awards.
One went to Hattie
McDaniel, who won Best
Supporting Actress. She
was the first African
American to win an
Academy Award.
• Americans also
listened to the radio.
• They listened to
news, comedy shows,
and adventure
programs like The
Lone Ranger.
Soap Operas
• Short daytime dramas
were also popular.
• These radio
melodramas were
often sponsored by
makers of laundry
soaps, causing the
shows to be
nicknamed soap
Arts (Writers & Painters)
• During the Depression, artists and writers portrayed the
life around them.
• Art and literature in the 1930s reflected the realities of
life during the Depression.
• Painters such as Grant Wood showed traditional
American values, particularly those of the rural Midwest
and the South.
• His painting American Gothic is one of the most famous
American works of art.
John Steinbeck
• The writing of novelists
such as John Steinbeck
evoked sympathy for their
characters and
indignation at social
• Steinbeck wrote about
the lives of people in the
Grapes of Wrath
• In The Grapes of
Wrath, Steinbeck told
the story of an
Oklahoma farm family
who fled the Dust
Bowl to find a better
life in California.
• He based his writing
on visits to and
articles about migrant
camps in California.
William Faulkner
• Some writers during the
Depression influenced
literary style.
• In a technique known as
stream of consciousness,
William Faulkner showed
what his characters were
thinking and feeling
without using
conventional dialogue.
• Faulkner explored the
issue of race in the
American South.
Life Magazine
• Photographers traveled
around the nation taking
pictures of life around
• In 1936, magazine
publisher Henry Luce
introduced Life, a weekly
magazine that enjoyed
instant success and
showcased the work of
photojournalists, such as
Dorothea Lange and
Margaret Bourke-White,
who documented the
hardships of the Great