The popular culture of the 1930's was fraught with contradictions. It was, simultaneously, a decade of traditionalism and of modernist experimentation; of sentimentality and "hard-boiled" toughness; of longings for a simpler past and fantastic dreams of the future.- During the Great Depression 2 out of 5 Americans saw a movie at least once a week.-
Swing Dancing became popular in 1935. It replaced Jazz music which was very popular from about 1930-1934. Blues was also in style by Robert Johnson and Skip James, two very important people of the Blues genre.

During the Great Depression the crime rate increased rapidly. People who lost their jobs became thieves and stole food to put on the table and other supplies that they needed. Many people resorted to suicide because their future didn't look so bright. Many people became alcoholics while seeking for a way to escape. Many of the smokers started to buy cheaper cigarettes because the other ones were getting to expensive. Marriages decreased during the Great Depression because men waited until they could afford to pay for a family. Divorces decreased also because many of the people used the "poor man's divorce" which basically mean't that they ran away from their marriages.-

Hoover had a philosophy. His philosophy stated that we, Americans, should be optimistic, hopeful about the future. The government should intervene as little as possible and eventually the market will fix itself. Hoover also propsed Laissez Faire- the theory that government should intervene as little as possible in the direction of economic affairs. He also believed in rugged individualism - a belief that nearly all individuals can succeed on their own and that government help for people should be minimal. What is the common characteristic of Laissez Faire and rugged individualism when it comes to the role of government? Hands off approach-- the economy, business, and individuals will fix themselves eventually without the government's interference. source-pdf handout
Franklin D. Roosevelt was a man of action. Duing his inauguration speech he said, " We have nothing to fear but fear itself." He said that because he did not want America to worry or be scared by fear, he wanted them to have hope and optimism.Roosevelt proposed an idea, "pump priming". It basicly stated that money should go to the working class, then they would have spending money, then businesses would get more money so they could hire new workers. That would spur more spending money and for growth. Roosevelt's plan was the exact opposite from Hoover's plan.-

With millions of people jobless, and millions who had lost there life savings you might have thought that there would have been a strong resurgence of the church during the depression. People started to believe that the suffering would quickly rush back into the church. While denominations did see an average membership gain of about 5% during the thirties this gain fell far short of the clergy's collective hopes. Father Charles Coughlin recieved nationwide fame for his sermons on the radio.
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The Lynd's famous study of "Middletown" indicated that very little chances were happening between 1925-1935 despite the depression. There was a huge decline in piety (reverance for God). There was reassurance of piety in the lower class, but most middle and upper classes remained unmoved.-