• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Severe Was The Impact Depression Had on British Society in 1930's.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

KALEEM SAJAD 12D 03/11/03 How Severe Was The Impact Depression Had on British Society in 1930's. With the collapse of Wall Street, in the summer of 1929, the early years of the thirties saw worldwide depression. In Britain unemployment rose from 1 to 2 million in 1930 and to nearly 3 million in 1932. This has led to a mythical perception of a distraught society in Britain in 1930'2. Therefore I will examine on how severe the effects of the depression really were on British Society. In Britain, the worst effects of the depression were felt hardest by the traditional staple industries of coal, iron, steel and shipbuilding. These industries had been in decline for some time but the effect of the depression was to accelerate this downturn. This was not helped by the government policy, which kept an over-valued pound on the gold standard and therefore made British exports increasingly expensive. These industries were generally centred in the North of England, Scotland and South Wales, and while the average national unemployment rate in 1932, stood at 23%, in the traditional staple industries, unemployment averaged at just over 45%. ...read more.

Middle

This meant that officers of state came and pried into family details and homes, which was felt to be humiliating. Although not all were eligible for the unemployment funds, for example, school leavers, many workers were better off and poverty was reduced. The way in which people dealt with unemployment was varied. There was a great deal of unity between the public. People carried on their normal lives and did not let the depression overrule their lives. These people lowered their living standards in order to live a hassle free life. Indeed, there was action taken, most notably the Jarrow to London march, as well as increased industrial action in 1931 and 1932. As well as this there was a small increase in the membership of the British Communist Party and short-lived support for "Moseley's" Fascist Party, particularly in the East End of London. But on the whole, these actions were only gestures, and never really involved the majority of the British public. The working class did not respond to long-term unemployment with fatalism. With lack of help from the government parties, working class communities sustained themselves through the depression by creating a new culture. ...read more.

Conclusion

The severity of the impact the depression had on British Society in 1930's is variable. We must understand that the majority of the working class in the 1930's did see some improvements in their living conditions. The "slump" had more than one face. In fact, while poverty and hardship did remain, particularly in the old England of the Industrial Revolution and the traditional staple industries, the great majority of the population saw a significant improvement in living standards by the end of the 1930's. This was due to the emergence of a new, modern England that boomed producing motorcars, new houses and new service industries. Most displaced workers managed to sustain themselves by working in the "black market", reading books and papers from local libraries, going to the cinema and continuing habits and aspects of working class life. The government's interference in to the unemployed peoples lives, such as the means test where they invaded their privacy, was loathed and led to a growing mistrust of the government. In conclusion, the working class despite their position remained proud, and with their neighbours and colleagues also on the dole, the pain of unemployment was in eased by the knowledge that they were not alone. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Assess the Impact of the First World War on British Politics by 1918.

    150 Lloyd George Liberals and 300 Tories received letters from their party leaders to show they were coalition candidates. Eighty eight per cent of them were successful, defeating the tiny no. of Asquith Liberals and many Labour candidates. The Tories dominated the new parliament and held basically all ministries.

  2. Did Democracy Survive in Britain in the 1930's as a Result of the Policies ...

    That same year, after the appeasement of Germany and the Nazis, the every growing threat of Hitler was becoming too great, so the National Government began British rearmament, which put �1.5 billion back into our economy as a way of trying to improve it and too prepare for conflict that seemed inevitable.

  1. A Detail on the British Empire Between the Great Wars, from 1918 to 1939.

    In 1935 MacDonald gave way to Baldwin again as Prime Minister, and Neville Chamberlain took over in 1937 after the latter retired. In 1939, Britain was plunged into yet another World War, fighting for its life against a smart and powerful foe intent on its destruction.

  2. To what extent did the weakness of the Japanese government in the 1920's contribute ...

    This shows us that Japan was still deeply influenced by its traditions. As early as in the 16th century, there were already ideas of military aggression in Japan. People at that time had been calling for expansion to the North and Korea.

  1. Critically evaluate the impact of the National Lottery since its inception on the arts ...

    However the Government argue that it does not breach the additionality principle as this "has consistently been that Lottery money should add to, it should not substitute or supplement services that are already provided by Government and it should allow things to happen that would not happen if it depended simply on Government funding alone" (Healey, 2004)

  2. Discuss the causes and consequences of social instability in Japan in the 1920s and ...

    In 1920s, the disappointed soldiers military officers and radical intellectuals formed some radical, extreme rightist, nationalist society, such as the Great Japan Society or the Cherry Society. The societies organized crimes, terrorist activities, and spread the radical thoughts. Either the left-wings society or the right-wings society held some radical movements

  1. In the 1930's and 1940's Britain was in very bad shape.

    Also the government raided tarrifs on foreign imports to encourage people to buy british goods. However this did not help as many other countries followed suit and did the same thing. The bitterly despised means test was introduced causing great uproar among the working class.

  2. Citizenship - participating in society

    assistance has been given apart from any which is acceptable under the scheme of assessment and which has been identified and recorded. Signature: Date: Centre Marks Section 1: Planning (AO3) max mark 10 Section 2: Activity Log (AO1) max mark 10 Section 3: Communication (AO2)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work