explain the effect the great depression had on the ordinary citizens of america

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saintfester eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Great Depression affected ordinary people in America in many different ways. The most profound affect was widespread unemployment, which hit nearly 25% in the U.S. This resulted in the displacement of families, who lost their homes and farms, and sometimes ended up camping in large tent cities called “Hoovervilles.” It became harder to acquire everyday consumer goods like thread, utensils and clothing since industries that made these items were closing factories and manufacturing centers. Many people began to go hungry, unable to buy food or find it as farms continued to fail. There are reports of children who chewed on their own hands out of hunger. Many children left school to help support their families, and by the end of 1930 there were an estimated 2.25 million children in the workforce. Those that couldn’t find work ran away to make things easier on their already cash-strapped families.