The Great Depression of the 1930s lasted far longer, it caused more business failure and unemployment, and effected more people both the middle and working class than any other period of hard times.
Seen in this symbolic picture entitled migrant mother, is Florence Owens Thompson, age 32, a mother of seven children, in Nipomo, California. it was taken on March 1936.
Perhaps the most famous photograph in the collection is “Migrant mother” (pictured right) taken by Dorothea Lange in 1936. Two children hide from the camera and their mother, whose face has been prematurely aged by hard graft and worry, stares into the middle distance. Her gaze is impossible to read, but her body language, and that of her children, reveals their vulnerability. As a window into the past the collection raises some important questions about the way America looks after its citizens and responds to crises, both climatic and economic.
This image depicts the suffering, destitute and hunger of the 15 million jobless Americans. The migrant workers of the mid-west were hit particularly hard due to the dust bowl drought and their already poor wages. It is widely believed that this is a posed image but it is very real and sincere in its affect.
The stock market crash that began on October 29th, 1929 was caused by over speculation supplemented by the unequal distribution of wealth, high tariffs, war debts and over production in industry and agriculture. These where major causes of the Great Depression. The consequences that succeeded it were widespread hunger, poverty, and unemployment and a worldwide economic crisis.
It is difficult to imagine the pervasive impact of the great depression. While in retrospect it can be seen that the economic decline reached bottom in 1932, complete recovery came only at the beginning of another world war in 1939.