Bud not Buddy: the Change in the Daily Lives of Americans During the Great Depression

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The Great Depression is known as one of the toughest economic periods of the industrialized world that brought severe consequences to a lot of countries in the West. A great example of an interesting description of the change in people’s lives is in the book “Bud, not Buddy” by Christopher Paul Curtis that takes place in Michigan during the Great Depression. The Great Depression began in 1929 until 1939. It was a time when people battled with many adjustments in their daily lives. The Great Depression left many people unemployed, homeless and starving.

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In October 1929, the stock market crashed. Many people lost most of their money. Stores could not sell their things so factories did not need as many workers. This led to many people being unemployed. According to History’s article about the average life of a family during the Great Depression, 15 million Americans were unemployed. The article also says that it’s estimated that about two million women and men left their homes in search for work. It goes on to say that a ton of these individuals were teens who felt like they turned into a burden for their families.

If people were unemployed they would usually lose their property because they couldn't pay home loans or taxes. According to Depts. Washington’s article about Hoovervilles and homelessness, people lived under bridges or on public land where they built crude shacks. A lot of people went to Hoovervilles that for example, Bud and Bugs headed to in the book, “Bud, Not Buddy.” The article continues to say that Hoovervilles were shacktowns and homeless encampments that were built by homeless Americans that were looking for a place to live. They were named after Herbert Hoover, who was President of America during the start of the Depression and was ultimately blamed for it.

Could you imagine a scenario in which there isn’t food in the fridge, but it’s time for lunch? What do people need to make lunch with? People need to purchase food, with money obviously. According to the Study’s article about food during the Great Depression people who lost money were not able to buy any food. Since not many people bought food (because they didn’t have money for it) there wasn't enough business to keep most of the groceries completely stocked. There was not enough food for everyone and because of that, people could get a certain amount of food. Here and there, people would get together and everybody would give each other a dish to share so people could have different kinds of foods. A lot of people decided to grow some food themselves. Some people chose to hunt for their food. Other people like Bud from the book “Bud, not Buddy” went to soup kitchens, which were places where people could go get a free meal. Another government program that helped people were food stamps, which still exist to this day. They are stamps that could be used to buy basic food, and other necessities if you were considered to be a poor family or individual.

In conclusion, the Great Depression was a tragic event. The living conditions were horrible. It broke the confidence of people as well as their leaders. It additionally took a lot of hard work to get America to where it used to be before the Great Depression. With assistance from Congress, America at long last made it out of the Great Depression. It is sure that we need to learn from history and not make the same mistakes causing the Great Depression again. Aside from the harsh part, the learnings from the Great Depression disaster completely changed the economic policy-making and economic thoughts.

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