How did the stock market crash in 1932 affect the lifestyle of immigrants in the United States?


You are a second-generation immigrant to the United States; you have a good education and you work hard at your management position at an automobile factory. Life is good. Unfortunately, your life changes drastically when you are plummeted into poverty by the stock market crash, may lose your job any day, and now have to live in a one bedroom apartment with seven of your family members. It is 1932 and you have followed the campaigns of Roosevelt and Hoover closely on the radio. You believe life will change. Write a letter, in 500 words or less, to your great aunt who stayed behind in Europe, and explain your lifestyle and how it changed when the market crashed. Tell her how you now feel about the future with the impending election.


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The Great Depression in the United States hit hard on millions of American citizens in the 1930s, and the story of a second-generation immigrant family trying to survive amidst the severe socio-economic crisis is a common one. Through the following letter, we will delve into the life of one such family, how they struggled to make ends meet after losing everything in the stock market crash, and how they felt hopeful about the future amidst the election campaigns of Roosevelt and Hoover.


Heading: Life Before The Stock Market Crash

Dear Aunt Sara,

I hope this letter finds you and Uncle Joe in good health and spirits. It has been a while since I last wrote, and I have much to tell you about my life here in America. As you know, I live in Detroit with my family, and life has been good for us until recently.

I have always been proud of my education and my job at the automobile factory. My family and I lived in a comfortable house with enough space for all of us, and we never had to worry about money. However, everything changed when the stock market crashed in 1929. Our savings and investments vanished overnight, and my job is now on the line. I fear that I might lose it any day now.

Heading: Life After The Stock Market Crash

After losing our job and savings, we had to downgrade our lifestyle significantly. We now live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with seven of my family members, and we can barely afford to pay our rent and bills. We have to cut back on our expenses and live from paycheck to paycheck. My parents and siblings who used to work had to give up their jobs due to the scarcity of jobs in the market. It is a hard life, Aunt Sara, and it breaks my heart to see my family struggle like this.

Heading: The Hopeful Future

However, amidst all this despair, there is a glimmer of hope. I have been following the election campaigns of Roosevelt and Hoover closely on the radio. They both seem to have a vision for a better future for the country, and I believe that things will change for the better. Roosevelt’s idea of a new deal, where the government takes a more active role in providing jobs and promoting social welfare, seems particularly appealing to me.

In conclusion, Aunt Sara, life here in America has been a rollercoaster ride. We have seen both prosperity and adversity, but I have faith that we will emerge stronger from this crisis. I will keep you updated on the election results and how they affect our lives.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

– To reflect on the personal impact of economic downturn on an individual’s life.
– To analyze the political significance of the 1932 election on the American working-class during the Great Depression.
– To practice letter writing skills while conveying a personal narrative.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completing this activity, learners will be able to:
– Describe the impact of the stock market crash on an individual’s everyday life.
– Analyze the key campaign issues of the 1932 election and what they meant for the working-class.
– Demonstrate effective letter writing skills by crafting a personalized narrative.

1. Exploring Personal Impact of Economic Downturn
– Reflecting on one’s own experience during the downturn.
– Describing how one’s life has changed due to poverty.

2. The Political Significance of the 1932 Election
– Analyzing the key campaign issues of the 1932 election.
– Identifying how these issues impacted the working-class.

3. Practicing Personalized Narrative Writing
– Demonstrating effective letter writing skills.
– Crafting a personalized narrative conveying one’s experience.

Solution 1: Continued Hard Work and Perseverance

Dear Great Aunt,

I hope this letter finds you well. Life has drastically changed for me since I last wrote you. The stock market crash of 1929 has left my family and I in poverty. I am lucky to still have my management position at the automobile factory, but I fear that I may lose it any day. To make matters worse, my family and I now share a one bedroom apartment with seven people. It is a difficult living situation, but I am grateful that we have a roof over our heads.

Throughout this hardship, I have followed the campaigns of Roosevelt and Hoover closely on the radio. I believe that a change is coming, and I am hopeful for the future. If Roosevelt is elected, I believe that he will create programs to help families like mine get back on our feet. I am inspired by his idea of the New Deal, and the promise of jobs and economic relief.

In the meantime, I know that the only way out of poverty is through hard work and perseverance. I am determined to keep my job and to provide for my family. I hope to one day be able to move us into a better living situation.

Thank you for your love and support from afar. I will write to you as soon as I have any updates.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Solution 2: Support for Roosevelt

Dear Great Aunt,

It has been a while since I wrote to you last, and so much has changed in my life since then. As you know, I am a second-generation immigrant to the United States, and I have worked hard to achieve my management position at an automobile factory. However, the stock market crash of 1929 has left me and my family in poverty. We now live in a one-bedroom apartment with seven people, and I worry about losing my job every day.

Despite all of this, I am hopeful for the future. I have been following the campaigns of Roosevelt and Hoover closely on the radio, and I am inspired by Roosevelt’s vision for a New Deal. If he is elected, I believe he will create programs to help people like me get back on their feet. I am eager to see what changes he can bring to our country and look forward to the new opportunities his policies could provide.

I believe that it is important for me to support Roosevelt and his vision for the future. I have been working to spread the word about his campaign to my friends and family. I also plan to vote for him in the upcoming election, and I hope that you can encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Thank you for always being such a supportive and loving aunt. I look forward to sharing more news with you soon.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

Suggested Resources/Books:

1. The Great Depression: A History from Beginning to End by Hourly History
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940 by William E. Leuchtenburg
3. The Causes of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes
4. Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte
5. America’s Great Depression by Murray N. Rothbard

Similar Asked Questions:

1. What were the causes of the stock market crash of 1929?
2. How did the Great Depression affect everyday Americans?
3. Who were the key figures in the Great Depression and what role did they play?
4. How did President Roosevelt’s New Deal policies help to end the Great Depression?
5. What lessons can we learn from the Great Depression about how to prevent future economic disasters?

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