'The causes and effects of the great depression caused equal suffering to all of the people in Britain during the 1930s' do you agree?

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                                                                                                                      Abdo Haji 11.1  

Hypothesis Title

‘The causes and effects of the great depression caused equal suffering to all of the people in Britain during the 1930s’ do you agree?


I disagree with the statement because from my previous knowledge, I know that the great depression was caused at the time United Kingdom was recovering from the First World War in additional to this the European countries had a lot of debt to pay for involving on the war. There was major amount of Britain’s suffering from the great depression but some Britain it was a good thing. Even thought areas as south of Wales and north of England were depended on old industries which are known as staple industries; new industries were replacing the old once making the staple industries reduce dramatically.

Background information

The Great Depression began in 1929 when the entire world suffered an enormous drop in output and an unprecedented rise in unemployment. World economic output continued to decline until 1932. The underemployed figures continued to rise, which in turn rendered the government with a lot of families to look deal with. The means test was introduced to reduce the amount of families which also cut the amount given each month however this was not reflected throughout whole country.

Source 1

Source 1 is a bar chart showing official statistics of the figures of British people unemployment in millions from the years 1928 to 1937. It peaked in 1933 (2.8million) and by 1937 it was (1.5million) therefore it’s declined by 1.3million people. This source is useful in showing unemployment as a cause of the depression but it is not useful as it does not show regional unemployment or how many of this figures are male and how many of them are female also this source is not useful because its to general therefore it does not prove or disapprove the hypothesis so you cant use this source to support the hypothesis title. However I think this source is reliable because it shows government statistics. This source is economic because of the mass unemployment which leads to a decrease in the income of families.

Source 2

Source 2 is a graph showing the percentage of workers unemployed in four different regional. I know the four regions had different experience in 1937. Out of the four towns in the graph I can see that Jarrow had the highest rate of unemployment at 68% I know that Jarrow had suffered from the shipyard because it only had one main employer the palmer’s shipyard when this closed the towns hit hard by unemployment. The second highest region of the unemployment was Merthyr in Wales with the rate of 62% of unemployment workers. I know that the main source of work in that region at that time was coal mining and I know that coal mining relied on export therefore when industries closed down Merthyr were also hit hard by unemployment. The third highest region of unemployment was Motherwell with the rate of 37.5%  I know they relied on coal and iron industries therefore they did not suffer as much as Jarrow and Merthyr because they had more then 1 industry to be employed on. The fourth highest regions of unemployment was St Albans in the south east, they have experiences a very little rate of unemployment this was because the south east economic was growing because new industries were being built therefore ST Albans relied on new industries so they did not lose on much. This source is very useful then source 1 because it shows it the regions where unemployment was also this source is useful because it disagrees with the hypothesis title. Source 2 is an economic cause because it shows Britain didn’t suffer equally from the depression.

Source 3

Source 3 is a bar chart showing British exports in million of pounds from 1923 – 1938. From the chart it shows the percentage was very high at that time however at 1933 a massive percentage reduced from 740 million to 380 million pounds. I know that the year that it reduced was in 1925 when chancellor, Winston Churchill returned the gold standard to Britain. Goods became more expensive so buyers looked for cheaper alternatives. This was a political cause of the depression as it was the result of a government decision. This shows that the bar chart is quiet useful as we know the coal industries relied on exports so any area reliant on this (the north of England and Wales in particular) would be hit hard. This links with source 2 and would explain why Merthyr would be hit hard. This source is economical effect of the depression because it showing the decrease of Britain profit from exports.

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Source 4

Source 4 is a leading article from the times news paper in the year 1938, and states that more unemployed men need to make an effort to get themselves employed. This article was famous and targeted these working class who were currently unemployed and long term however this was written for middle class people. This article is against those who are unemployed it states that they are ‘lazy even though it shows that unemployed were looking for jobs. The source suggests that those in the south were unaware of the true situation during the depressions as ...

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