The Greatest Generation
What is the Greatest Generation?
Of the many generations of people who have made a difference in the world, the generation who grew up during the Great Depression and lived to fight in World War 2 was known as the greatest. Many factors contributed to their great success including the baby boom, suburbs, living conditions and much more. Most of their success was due to their experiences in the war, and hardships they had to face growing up in the Great Depression. Many people wanted to make a better life for their children, so their children wouldn't have to suffer the way they, themselves did.
How They Started Out
Before the 50's
They were known as the greatest generation because they went through the hardest times in American history, and complained about it the least. Growing up in the Great Depression was difficult for most, and living through WW2 only made things worse. People now take for granted what we have today, and do not appreciate what the greatest generation did for us.
Remembering The Greatest Generation
The Great Depression
The Great Depression was an extremely hard time period for most American citizens during 1910. It was when the stock market crashed and many people were forced to live on the streets. Most people didn't know when their next meal was coming, or if it was ever coming. When this happened, the people of this generation did not complain or whine, for the most part, they learned to deal with it and make the most out of what they had. The woman and children made their own clothes out of any cloth they could find, and men tried to earn money doing any job they could find. Most people from the greatest generation were children then, but that didn't make life any easier. Life was rough for everyone but they made the best out of it and found a way to work through it.
World War 2 was a war most people in the Greatest Generation fought in. Many wars were fought over the years, but this war was like no other. WW2 had no purpose other than trying to stop a crazy man from taking over the world. American soldiers during that war did not fight for the glory, but for pride in his country and just because it was the right thing to do. This war also targeted civilians in every country, so even Americans who weren't overseas fighting were scared the Nazi's would come and bomb them from above. People experienced so much physically and emotionally, that even though there was victory, the loss was still great.
After the War
The Baby Boom
The Baby Boom started after WWII and was when the birthrate increased dramatically. About two hundred years ago, the amount of people in the U.S. was about four million, and then one hundred years ago it was sixty three million. However, in the 1950s, the count was one hundred and fifty million people in the U.S. During the great depression, mothers would only give birth to about two children, because no one knew if they would have enough money to support them, but after the war, people were, for the first time in their lives, hopeful and in peace. There were many jobs available and most people came home from the war in need of the security and love a family can provide. The amount of children between the ages of five and fourteen increased by more than ten million in the course of ten years.
The Birth of Suburbia
The creation of suburbs made life easy for families after the war. Because of the increase in population, the demand for homes was high. A businessman would usually buy land outside a city and build houses on it. Then, families would borrow money from a bank to buy the house. This process started with the greatest generation and is still used today for most people when buying a house. Life in the suburbs was easy for families and there were always things to do for children. There were boy scouts and girl scouts, and barbeque parties in the summer time. Everyone except African American were welcome in these suburbs.
"Families moving in found that their new friends were happy to help them get settled. Children in the suburbs exchanged toys and clothes almost as though they were group property. If little Bobby out-grew his clothes, his mother gave them to little Billy across the street. Front doors were not locked. Friends felt free to enter without knocking or asking permission." -William Manchester
SInce the war was over and people just wanted to relax for the first time in their lives, having a family was a big deal. Most would just live in suburbs and try to make the best life possible for thier children. The father most of the time would work, and the mother would take care of household jobs and take care of the children.