Economy and Society in Early America

Economy and Society in Early America

Economyand Society in Early America

Theeconomic status of Americans dictated their production, distributionand consumption of goods and services. Different levels of economyamong distinguished ethnicities mean inequities in accessingresources. According to (Billingsley67),several parameters contribute to the level of economy to a specificindividual. In Early America, children were the most affected andvictims of poor health, high levels of poverty and extremely lowlevels of education. The economic status impacted the lives of manyethnic and racial minorities. The African American children who livedin poverty were three times more than Caucasian children (Billingsley113).The American Indian/Alaska natives, Hispanic and others were morelikely to live in poverty than Caucasian and Asian families. AfricanAmericans attended high-poverty schools and their school dropout ratewas high compared to Americans and Caucasians.

Oneof the effects of low economic level was on the psychological healthwhere the outcome differed from majorities to minorities. Among theyouths from Caucasian families with higher levels of the economy werecharacterized by positive psychological outcomes. Other effects oflow economic status among the youths were increased reported casesof attempted suicide, drug abuse, increased degrees of behavioral andemotional difficulties, higher levels of hostility and discriminationamong the youths of African American, Pacific Islander and Hispanicorigins (Rees &amp Pollack 49). Later in life, these problems led toAlzheimer disease which was reported in higher numbers in youths fromlow economic status families.

Billingsley(164) positsthat another impact of the economic level in Early America was onphysical health. Families which recorded low levels of economy likeAfrican American recorded poor health outcomes. The dismal economicindicators among other families were characterized by cases ofmalnutrition among the members others with signs of diseases likekwashiorkor. Some youths increasingly added body weight because oflacking exercise facilities and healthy food options. Higher levelsof stress were also recorded among the members especially theadolescents youths compared to the aged people. Most of the adultsreported frequently the diseases related to the cardiovascular whichaffected the blood vessels leading to heart problems. These problemswere minimal among the Caucasian families.

Educationaloutcomes were also directly affected by the degree of the economy.There seems to be a gap between Caucasian families which werefinancially stable and those ones which recorded low economic levelslike the African American (314). This led to low performance in classby the majority black Americans, increased absenteeism from schoolthereby creating a wide gap in education in comparison with youthsfrom higher level economic Caucasian families and an increased ratein the number of youths dropping out of school due to financialconstraints and inability to pay the required school fees to completetheir studies.

Theeconomic status of American families affected their well-being andstability and the ability of the parents to provide for theirchildren. Most members from low income earners families are subjectto child abuse and neglect. The highest percentage of abuse wasrecorded by families which had knowledge of and exposure to substanceuse (Zieger,Minchin, and Gall 119).Some families especially of the African origin reported a highernumber of children dependants leading to pressure on the availableresources of the family and other negative consequences on the familylike poor health conditions and psychological stress (McLoyd321).These low level income families were reported to have the highestnumber of domestic violence cases. Increased levels of victimizationwere also recorded among racial and ethnic minorities. Economicallystable families of Caucasian origin recorded minimal or none of theseproblems compared to non-stable ones of other natives.


Billingsley,Andrew. BlackFamilies in White America.Touchstone Books, 1988. Print.

McLoyd,Vonnie. The impact of economic hardship on black families andchildren. Psychological distress, parenting, and socioemotionaldevelopment. Childdevelopment61.2(1990): 311-346.Print.

Rees,Jonathan &amp Pollack, Jonathan. TheVoice of the People: Primary Sources on the History of AmericanLabor, Industrial Relations, and Working-Class Culture.New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell,2004. Print.

Zieger,Robert., Minchin, Timothy., and Gall, Gilbert.American Workers, American Unions: The Twentieth and EarlyTwenty-First Centuries.Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. Print.