Working People's Letters To The Great Depression

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The 1930s in America were categorized as years of deprivation for individuals of the lower and middle classes. The previous years, known as the “Roaring Twenties”, were ones in which the economy flourished. This economical success led up to one of the greatest depressions America has ever seen. Families were unable to pay for necessities that are taken for granted today. In response to the economic downfall, workers wrote letters to prominent individuals in the government. The document Working People’s Letters to New Dealers is comprised of several of these letters that are addressed to Frances Perkins and Franklin D. Roosevelt. There are many issues caused by the depression that are revealed in the writings. The workers believed that if they…show more content…
Many workers who were part of a family would be worked to the point of exhaustion. When this occurs, the quality of work being done diminishes drastically. J. G. of New York informs Miss Perkins, “we work, ten hours a day for six days.” Not only does working long hours cause exhaustion, it also does not allow for any free time after the work is done. On another note, one worker discusses that his work day begins as early as two in the morning. Being forced to rise out of bed this early adds to the exhaustion felt during the day. To avoid exhaustion and unacceptable quality of work, a simple solution of shortening the work day should be made. Shortening the work day to eight hours would allow workers to be punctual and alert on the job, improving the quality of…show more content…
One of the main reasons as to why middle class Americans went under is because they were not paid nearly enough to reach the standard of living during the 1930s. R.J. of Louisiana wrote that there was “such a low standing of living that one wouldn’t believe they are living in the good old U.S.A.” For example, families were unable to pay for the most necessary things in order to survive. Doctor’s visits were unreachable and food was expensive. Imagine a family member being sick without taking him to the doctor. Besides wages being too low, they were also unfair. In one letter, a worker explains that semi- skilled laborers make less than common laborers. The difference in wages was a whopping five dollars per week. Why are some workers being paid extra? A solution to the unfair wages would be to create a standard amount of pay that each type of worker is entitled to make. If a law was set in place to require a minimum wage, then many workers would avoid the unfair fluctuations in

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