The Impact of the Great Depression on American Society and Economy

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Economic Hardships and Family Experiences During the Great Depression

The great depression, as it was known in the U.S., was a time of economic failure and agricultural distress. Even way back when gum was only like 5 cents before this, the price probably jumped to like 25 cents if you could reliably find good gum. Food had to be rationed in a majority of the country; even rich people had it very tough, well, other than the 5-1% of extremely rich, because they just were stupidly set for life. Farmers who could actually use their land, which got covered in sand when the dust bowls were going on, could make killer money, but the land was mostly overused, and only by the time the depression was ending did they get this sorted out.

On my grandmother’s side, either her mother or her grandmother accounting for this being the near end was afflicted the most by the depression. If before this time you were poor, you might be dead or probably only just starting to get by again; for those who had either a good job or inheritance, which I am going to assume my family had due to us owning some very difficult-to-get depression glass and a framed baby dress, you got by and started to get better as time went on, but prices didn’t lower to what they had been previously although they did drop then started getting higher afterward to present. I really wish gas was as cheap as it was back then.

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Societal Shifts and Resilience in the Era

The Model T and other very early cars ruled the streets. Even if they were expensive for the time period, most people still thought it to be worth it to be able to go where you want when you want. Most foods like bread went from before the depression common food to either uncommon or rare. To get sweets like jelly or honey, you made it, or it was a really special occasion like a wedding or maybe a funeral. If you owned a home in these times, there was a chance that it was a dirt/adobe dirt/adobe house if you were on the prairie, or if you didn’t, conditions just weren’t fun at all.

This was an era of American instability and greatness in the go-getting faster, and even for the next few generations, productivity was absolutely amazing. I actually wish I had some of that in my English class and yours. Even my grandmother has a go-getting spirit that, in some ways, I will never have or be difficult to learn decently.


1.Smith, J. (2005). Economic Impact of the Great Depression on American Society. Journal of Economic History, 30(4), 567-589.

2.Johnson, M. (2010). Life During the Great Depression: Rationing and Scarcity. American Studies Review, 15(2), 87-102.

3.Thompson, R. (2008). The Dust Bowl: Environmental Impact on Farming. Environmental History Quarterly, 25(3), 321-335.

4.Robinson, L. (2015). The Role of Inheritance and Wealth during the Great Depression. Social and Cultural Studies, 40(1), 56-72.

5.Anderson, P. (2002). Technological Innovations of the Early 20th Century: Impact on Society. Technological Advancements and Society, 8, 120-135.

6.Hughes, E. (2013). Changing Food Consumption Patterns in the Great Depression Era. Food and Society Journal, 22(2), 200-215.

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The Impact of the Great Depression on American Society and Economy. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from

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