The farmers plight during the great depression

Search The Great Depression Hits Farms and Cities in the s Farmers struggled with low prices all through the s, but after things began to be hard for city workers as well.

The farmers plight during the great depression

Sharecropping Family, Macon County stock market crash in the waning days of October heralded the beginning of the worst economic depression in U. The Great Depression hit the South, including Georgia, harder than some other regions of the country, and in fact only worsened an economic downturn that had begun in the state a decade earlier.

Between and the price of cotton decreased from To keep up with the lower prices being offered for their products, farmers needed to purchase expensive new farm machinery, but only a few rich landowners had the money to afford such investments.

Some abandoned their farms and moved to cities or out of the state, contributing to the ongoing "great migration" into northern states. Others were forced off their land by foreclosure and became sharecroppers on terms dictated by large landowners.

On the eve of the The farmers plight during the great depression Depression about two-thirds of farm land in the state was operated by sharecroppers. Conditions Sharecroppers, Greene County were harsher for blacks, whose entanglement in the sharecropping system dated back to the end of the Reconstruction era.

While some still owned their own farms in the s, many were forced off their land entirely by declining prices and into menial jobs in towns and cities. Others took the now-familiar path of migrating to urban areas in the state or industrial centers in the North, often joining relatives who had migrated during the mids.

By just 12 percent of blacks owned the land they worked. Cash-crop production placed enormous pressure on farmers to plant every available acre of land with cotton, which eventually depleted the soil. Economic Crisis The beginning of the Great Depression can be traced to the stock market crash of Tuesday, October 29, also known as "Black Tuesday".

The s were a time of increased stock market speculation. Many people, not just wealthy investors, invested in the stock market hoping for high returns. There was so much demand for stock a share of ownership in a company that stocks quadrupled in value between and Underlying problems in the economy, however, including an increasing number of poor sharecroppers, led to the sudden decrease in stock values on Black Tuesday.

Bank failures were common, and in small towns and communities opportunities for loans dried up. Small business owners were especially vulnerable. Less money in local circulation meant fewer paying customers; with the absence of credit and financing, these business owners quickly went under.

Large landowners were usually able to ride out the depression; a small number of farmers who made the transition from cotton production to soybeanspeanutscornlivestock, and hogs had resources to fall back on.

First, the state Tenant Farmhouse experienced its worst drought on record in As the depression wore on, the defects and negative trends of cash-crop agriculture became magnified. The typical Georgia farm family had no electricity, no running water, and no indoor privies.

Diets were inadequate, consisting mainly of molasses, fatback, and cornbread. There were few rural clinics, hospitals, or health care workers. Some counties had no health facilities at all.


Naturally, sicknesses occurred, with pellagratuberculosis, and malaria being common. In Preface to Peasantry: Raper used these words to describe the conditions in the Black Belt of the South: With its textile mills and iron foundries, Columbus managed to hold on to its position as an industrial leader in the state.

Professional workers in the health and legal fields kept their clients. Craft workers stayed busy. For most others, work was uncertain, and even those at the highest rungs worried about their jobs and income.

Even for those with jobs life was far from rosy. Despite hard times, Atlanta remained as ever optimistic about its future. Many of its businesses and larger retail establishments were able to survive, while some even experienced modest growth.

The income of rural blacks was about half that of rural whites. In the entire state there were only four black insurance companies, one bank Citizens Trust Bank in Atlantaand one wholly owned newspaper.

According to the U. Hospitals for blacks existed only in the largest urban areas.Sanora Babb’s long-hidden novel Whose Names Are Unknown tells an intimate story of the High Plains farmers who fled drought dust storms during the Great Depression.

Written with empathy for the farmers’ plight, this powerful narrative is based upon the author’s firsthand experience. During the same years that farmers were being encouraged to take land out of production, which would displace tenants and sharecroppers, the farm production was significantly reduced due to a severe drought hit the Great Plains states.

The farmers plight during the great depression

Case Studies The Farmers Plight. At the beginning of WWI, President Woodrow Wilson challenged the nation’s farmers to dramatically increase food production. During the outbreak of WWI there was a great drive put on to increase feed supplies to feed not only our army and civilian population but populations in Europe that had been overrun.

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The farmers plight during the great depression

Great Depression - Popular culture: The indifference to politics and to the larger social concerns of the s was reflected as well in the popular culture of the decade.

In contrast to the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties, the s emphasized simplicity and thrift. Although styles tended to reflect the glamour of contemporary movies, clothes themselves were mended before being replaced. The plight of farmers during the Great Depression entailed hard work and labor.

This caused so much devastation and Roosevelt tried to deal with it aggressively.

Dust Bowl - HISTORY