Expository Essay on The Great Depression and the American Culture

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University of Richmond
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The great depression was a painful encounter for millions of Americans, and it quivered the assurance of many people in themselves, their land, or both. The despair formed powerful sanctions of the modern values and supported many traditional objectives, which led to the emergence of depression cultures.

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The American community values appeared to change moderately in reaction to the depression. The challenges made the people intensify their obligation to recognizable notions and ambitions. The sociologist Robert Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, who had printed a renowned analysis of Muncie, Indiana, Middletown, in 1929, resumed there in 1930 and concluded in their 1937 book Middletown in transition. The appealing thing about Middletown is that the people lived by their values and culture despite the crisis. The significant thing about the men and the women of Middletown and the association of many other Americans is that they dedicated themselves to acknowledging the significance of the traditional American emphasis on the individual. The economic catastrophe demoralized the modern success ethic in America. The great despair made the people look for government support by blaming the industrialists, worldwide bankers, and economic monarchists.

Because of the predicament, some victims conveyed their antagonism to the economic system, while others appeared to condemn themselves. The foreign observers of America were astonished in the 1930s by the noticeable compliance of the unemployed, many of whom refused to leave their homes because they were humiliated due to their joblessness. On the contrary, millions of people responded enthusiastically to the assurances that they could, with their determination, reinstate themselves to affluence and victory. Self-help manual How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), by the writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie was one of the best-selling books of the decade. Carnegie’s message was that the best way for people to get ahead was to fit in and make other people feel important as well as personal initiative, which is the route to success.

Based on the historical situation it is evident that distress causes harm to the individual as well as a country. Depression makes people turn away from their values and their culture due to traumatic experiences. In my view, leaders in a country need to be knowledgeable, patriotic, and of integrity to govern their country appropriately. When reflecting on Hoover's administration, it is clear that he was unfit to solve the crisis that is why he opted to blame the international economic forces. A leader with integrity plays a critical role in the development of a country because he is capable of building confidence among the citizens.

According to history, the great despair led to the fall of the American economy, which was the leading in the world and it caused the world depression. In the current times, similar occurrences happen according to (Kose, Lakatos, Ohnsorge, Stocker, 2017 in that a progressive flow in the world’s vast economy can deliver a significant increase to the global interest. In contrast, the improbability about the direction of the American procedures could have the opposite. The US dollar is the extensively used currency in international transactions, and the alterations of the US monetary program influence the US trade strategies, which play a leading role in the steering of the global financing stipulation.

The Brown Decision and Massive Resistance

After years of conflicts, an open battle began in the 1950s against ethnic discrimination. The African American was the critical element in raising the issue of race to eminence together with the white Americans.

The Supreme Court proclaimed its verdict in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka on May 17, 1954. The court outlawed its own 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson judgment, which had declared that societies could grant blacks the distinct amenities as long as the facilities were equivalent to those of whites. Moreover, the court considered the legal exclusion of the Kansas public school scheme. There were determinations by the blacks to oppose discrimination mostly by a group of talented NACCP lawyers, who studied at Howard University in Washington D.C., by the great legal educator Charles Houston. The lawyers expended years filling legal trials to segregation, nipping at the verges of the system from state to state, and accruing practices to aid their movement on the separate but equal doctrine of itself. The lawyers who included Thurgood Marshall, William Hastie, James Nabrit, went as far as filing the suits against the school boards of Topeka, Kansas, and several other cities that became the basis of Brown decision.

The Topeka suit involved the case of an African American girl who traveled miles to go to the segregated public school though she lived next to a white elementary school. The chief justice Earl Warren studied the case not merely regarding the legal practice but based on history, physiology, and sociology. The magistrate clarified the undisputed judgment of his contemporaries, and they confirmed that in the arena of civic education the separate but equal policy has no room. The subsequent year the law court delivered another verdict known as (Brown ll), to provide and execute the rules according to the 1954 order. By the fall of 1957, only 684 out of 3,000 schools in the south began to desegregate their schools. Many white parents only took out their children from the public schools and registered them to all-white segregation academies. The Brown conclusion launched a lengthy battle between the federal authority, the state, the local governments, and among those who believed in ethnic parity and those who did not.

My View on this historical event is that to succeed in the fight against discrimination each had a role to play. The lawyers did whatever they could to end the separate but equal doctrine, although they did not completely eradicate segregation their efforts were recognized and the little they did count. I believe through history we are compelled to do things differently by amending the preceding. The world has changed over the years and the new technology, which we have embraced, has made us connect with each other from one nation to another despite our diversity. Each one of us has to participate in making change for his or her country and it will make a vast difference in generations to come.


Currently, discrimination exists particularly in my country, where people get jobs depending on the connections they have centered by the tribes. It has reached an extent that the majority of people belonging to the same tribe get the first top positions in an organization. The outcomes are very devastating because many citizens are unemployed and thus, leading to increased poverty levels. The tribal clashes have caused so much distress in a way that it has affected the country's economy. All in all the administration is doing everything in its power to reconcile the people and through the efforts to combat tribalism the government has allied with the human rights movements on the way forward.


Brinkley, A. (2012). American history: Connecting with the past. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Kose, M., Lakatos, C., Ohnsorge, F., & Stocker, M. (2017). Understand the global role of the US economy.

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