Myths Of America In The 1930's

1999 Words8 Pages
Sara Lewis History 17 Myths of America Myths and misconceptions have had a great influence on the America we live in today. Between the 1920’s and the 1960’s America wanted to create and maintain a deceivingly good image. Some myths were created to hide the unfortunate realities our nation didn’t want to face, others were created to set a goal for Americans to strive and hope for. These four decades had some specific and unique myths; some different from the past, some that reoccurred, and some that had never disappeared. The myth of equality and isolationism reoccurred during these periods, along with some new myths more specific to each decade, such as the “new woman” in the 1920’s. The cause of the Great Depression is an example of…show more content…
The cause however, has its controversy. Most Americans believe that the stock market crash was the cause of the Great Depression, which is untrue. “The stock market crash did not so much cause the Depression, then, as help trigger a chain of events that exposed long-standing weakness in the American economy.” (B, 661; CD) The stock market crash cause events that occurred in the Great Depression which made it more of a hardship and showed the first sign of crisis, although the Great Depression was inevitable at the end of the 1920’s. In reality the depression was caused by lack of diversification, maldistribution of wealth, declining exports and unstable international debt structure (B, 660). The great depression and the dust bowl brought a new myth to the 1930’s which was the misconception of self-blame and personal responsibility which evolved from the earlier self-made man myth. “Most Americans were taught to believe that every individual was responsible for his or her own fate, that unemployment and poverty were signs of personal failure” (CD; B, 662). Many men were ashamed and blamed themselves for their loss, some even pretended to still go to work during the day because they were too ashamed to let down their family. (CD; B, 663) Some Americans also blamed the president himself and named their poor crumbling neighborhoods. “Many Americans held the president personally to blame for the crisis and began calling the shantytowns that unemployed people established on the outskirts of cities “Hoovervilles” (B, 676; CD) The 1930’s also show examples of our continuing inequality in America. As the white males began to lose their jobs and some African Americans continued to work, people believed in this crisis white males had first priority when it came to jobs and started replacing the African Americans. (B, 665; CD) Mexicans during the depression were rounded up and were forced to
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