Though most Americans are aware of the Great Depression of 1929, which may well be "the most serious problem facing our free enterprise economic system", few know of the many Americans who lost their homes, life savings and jobs. Americans faced vast problems during the eleven years of depressionís span. The paper primarily focuses on what life was like for farmers during the time of the Depression.
By the 1930's, thirteen million workers lost their jobs, which is 25 percent of all workers. The blacks and unskilled workers were always the first to be fired. Farmers had no money and weren't capable of paying their mortgages. Americans traveled throughout the country looking for a place to work to support themselves and their family.
Farmers plight during the Great Depression and drought. When the rains failed to come, the grass began to disappear. As the farmers watched their plants turn brown and the dirt slowly turn to dust they began to fear what was to come. In the water-cut gullies the earth dusted down in dry little streams. As the sharp sun struck day after day, the leaves of the young corn became less stiff and erect; then it was June and the sun shone more fiercely. The brown lines on the corn leaves widened and moved in on the central ribs. The weeds frayed and edged back toward their roots. The air was thin and the sky more pale; and every day the earth paled.
The farmers were terrified that the government feed loans wouldn't be available to keep the livestock from dying. In many cases, the Red Cross was making allowances for feed to keep live livestock. The small farmers of fruit trees and vegetable plants depended on others who ran canneries to bottle and can their produce. The people they depended upon were the same people that hired scientists to experiment on the fruits and vegetables to come up with better tasting and yielding produce. Thus the small farmers were dependent on these same rich landowners for almost everything. They couldn't harvest their produce on their own so they sold it to the rich landowners and thus made very little money on their produce. The farmers found themselves in debt caused by the purchase of land, tools, animals and other items bought on credit.
The Great Depression was the end result of World War I. It affected the rich and poor alike, factory workers and farmers, bankers and stockbrokers. In short, it affected everyone; no one was left untouched. But of all the people hurt, farmers were the worst off. The Great Depression is known to be the worst economic disaster in U. S. history.