Flashcards in The impact of the Great Depression Deck (45)
US stock market collapse
1929 - lead to the Great Depression as US had been supporting the European economy since WW1 but now had to stop lending money and recall all loans.
What brought about the Great Depression ?
US stockmarket crash + restructuring of British economy following WW1 - many left unemployed as a result
What did industries have to do as a result of the Great depression ? (4)
-industries sold less
-pay workers less
-restrict working hours
National insurance benefit
-set up in 1911 an covered workers in a few industries such as shipbuilding where work was not steady
-workers and employers paid into an unemployment fund and if work dried up the fund paid benefit for up to 15 weeks
Out-of-work donation scheme (Dole)
set up by the government in Nov 1918 to help returning soldiers and war workers who could not find jobs - only a small amount was paid to everyday workers
What were women expected to do following the war ?
Give up their jobs to returning men - no longer able to contribute to to family income
Unemployment figures in Britain during Depression
-1.5m unemployed in 1929 - rose to 2.4m in 1930
-3,400,000 unemployed in 1932 - 17% of workforce BUT only 2,828,000 of unemployed received national insurance
Ways the unemployed protested
-wrote to the government
-wrote to newspapers
-trade unions set up
-took part in hunger marches to London; mostly organised by the NUWM established in 1921 - wanted to make the point that the unemployed were not lazy and wanted more work than benefits
Import duties act
1932; 10-20% duty placed on all imports, but it didn't work because other countries were doing the same.
Unemployment stats in 1932
highest year for unemployment:
Wales = 36.5%
North East = 28.5%
Scotland = 27.7%
North West = 25.8%
In what industries was unemployment in the 1930's highest ?
Iron and steel
Shipbuilding - all in North and East England, Scotland and Wales
Unemployment stats of miners and shipbuilders
1932 - 34.5% of all miners and 62% of all shipbuilders unemployed
Building of factories
- 80% of all new factories built from 1932 to 1937 were in London and usually for new industries such as car making - they ran mostly on electricity and not coal so worsened unemployment in coal industry
- Did keep unemployment up in London and the South East
Chemical industry unemployment
Had 17.6% unemployment in 1932 (low) - shows that Great Depression did not effect all
When did the labour party come to power ?
1929 - Ramsay MacDonald as prime minister - they made huge spending cuts to help with debts
How much were workers wages cut after 1929 ?
Unemployment Insurance Act
1930 - many more people entitled to benefits resulting in greater costs for the government
-people no longer had to prove they were 'actively seeking work'
What did government ministers discuss in August 1931 ?
cutting benefit rates by 15% and setting up the means test - most ministers refused for they saw it would be too humiliating but government collapsed and MacDonald continued to be prime minister over National Government and went on to make these changes
When did the National Government win the election ?
officials visited the houses of benefit claimants to examine living conditions to make sure they were poor enough for the dole - if their children earned any money per week then their dole was reduced
-clarified differences between types of benefits
-no means test
-everyone had right to National insurance which they were paid for 15 weeks, so long as they contributed
-the dole was given to the unemployed who couldn't pay NI or had already received their 15 weeks
Special Areas Act
-gave £2million to Scotland, Tyneside, Cumberland and South Wales
-local authorities applied for the money for their area but it was not evenly shared out - used for economic development and social improvement
Special Areas (Amendment) Act
-gave tax cuts and low rents to businesses that moved into 'special areas'
- government spent £5 million but had also given orders worth £24 million to firms in these areas by 1937
-By 1938, the government had spent £8,400,000 with one success being the opening of the Team Valley Trading Estate near Gateshead in 1938
What did the Unemployed have to do weekly ?
visit the employment exchange to register as looking for work - some casual workers e.g. dock workers had to sign twice a day
Unemployed hunger stat
A British Medical Association study in 1933 showed it cost 5s1d to feed person the minimum food for proper nourishment - by 1938 prices had risen and studies showed that 44% of those getting the dole had to manage on less than this
-lots of bread and potatoes but no fruit or milk
How did the unemployed or poor afford goods?
Many joined savings clubs, where a regular amount was paid each week, then when enough was saved, goods were bought
How were the unemployed effected psychologically?
-Low self-respect and self-esteem
How was the physical appearance of the unemployed different to a normal person?
March from Jarrow in Tyneside to London in 1936 to ask the government for work