By Quinn K. 

My parents survived the Great Depression and brought me up to live within my means, save some for tomorrow, share and don’t be greedy, work hard for the necessities in life knowing that money does not make you better or more important than anyone else. So, extravagance has been bred out of my DNA.” This quote from David Suzuki makes you wonder what the Great Depression felt like to the people living in it and how they survived. To answer this question you must first answer the question; What was the Great Depression?

The Great Depression started in October, 1929 and lasted about ten years. The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn of Western industry ever. The Great Depression kicked off after the stock market crashed causing a Wall Street panic, which lead to millions of investors to go bankrupt.

During the Great Depression the role of the government changed greatly leading them to have to take more action in order to help their people. The government had to step up in three main areas. These areas were social security, protection of the citizens, and the New Deal infrastructure projects.

Social Security

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Social Security was established on August 14, 1935 to benefit workers that were victims of unemployment. It also supplied aid for dependent mothers and the disabled.

Protecting citizens

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The protection of the people during the Great Depression included feeding children and poor families with very low incomes with food stamps and social security. People in cities waited in bread lines and more than 20,000 people committed suicide due to being ashamed that they couldn’t care for their family or that they were dying of starvation.

New Deal Infrastructure

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The New Deal in 1931 was to introduce “types of social and economic reforms” including programs like the TVA which built dams to save people from floods as well as to provide  a new efficient way of creating energy source.


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