blame game by Nate Collier (ca. 1931 – 1932)
Many say it all started with the stock market crash of 1929, but there were so many other factor that contributed to the Greatest Depression the world has seen. Was it the bank, lack of international trade, was it capitalism. Something was definitely unbalanced, and led to extreme poverty.
Dorothea Lange‘s Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, age 32, a mother of seven children, in Nipomo, California, March 1936.
When ever I think about the depression, and even during my research of photographs, the picture above seems to carry the greatest effect on me. This woman is carrying her two small children, and a look of pure sadness and lost that one just can’t fake. She looks poor, and while doing some research found that she had 7 children traveling and looking for work. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. I can’t imagine how hard that was. At least now, there are government supports and aids for some of the poor.
I close these two photographs to show how on the large scale of things, that many things may have been responsible for the Great depression, but at the end of the day, many families suffered for it. The hardship was real even if the real reason isn’t quite clear.
As Ruka was saying, children and adults alike were looking for food. Nobody had jobs, money, or even food to eat. Thousands of people would look for work, most of them just wasting their time. Wages were so low that people would even tend a garden in Los Angeles for $1 a week! Many people also had to move into Hoovervilles. A big impact of the depression was the movement of people from cities to farms. That was the opposite of what people were doing for the past years. People went to farms in order to grow their own food, and feed their families.
Every so often when there is something wrong, people would naturally start playing a game called “pointing the finger at others”, just like the picture 1 shows. But the truth is, the reasons that caused the problem are not singular. As for the Great Depression, over capitalization, lack of purchasing power, inflation, policies even human greedy nature all played a part. So when it comes to fixing the problem, you don’t just solve one of them and expect things would turn around immediately.
The Great Depression made hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, many even have lost their homes.
Look at the worrying mother in the picture 2, every sensible person will feel sorry for their situation. But the hardship during the Great Depression didn’t crush American people, it made them stronger. They struggled, survived, prospered and became the most powerful country in the world.
I guess the best thing to see is that while looking at picture too, you see that she is struggling, but seems like she is holding on. I mean she was stronger then most people. Our generation relies on so much, I hope we would be just as strong if we were to experience such a hard time. She was quoted by the photographer that took her picture “She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields and birds that the children killed.”
Many women during the great depression, did almost anything they could to help there family. The children may have struggled the most. It seems to be a harsh experience for any child to go through. they were malnourished, and infant mortality rate increased more then 20%. with disease, and illness I would not be surprised if there were many children who didn’t make it.