What is the time period of this story and what evidence shows it?
To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the 1930s. There are several references to the Great Depression in the story. The Great Depression began in 1929 and lasted throughout the 1930s. Atticus tells Jem and Scout why so many people in Maycomb are poor, including them:
Atticus said professional people were poor because the farmers were poor. As Maycomb County was farm country, nickels and dimes were hard to come by for doctors and dentists and lawyers (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 2).
Atticus also tells his children that "the Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them hardest." Everyone in town is suffering from the Depression, from the poor farmers to the educated professionals.
The WPA is also mentioned in the story. The WPA was the Works Progress Administration. It was a nationwide program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide jobs for the unemployed. Those employed by the WPA did work ranging from building roads and bridges to creating art and writing. Bob Ewell is the only person Scout knows of "who was fired from the WPA for laziness" (Chapter 27).