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"During The 1930's Some Parts Of Britain Suffered Social And Economic Consequences Of The Depression, While Other Parts Enjoyed Social Advantages And Economic Success," Discuss

987 words - 4 pages

It is an obvious statement to make that not all experiences of the Depression were the same. The 1930's are usually seen as a time of great suffering and poverty. In fact, an overview of the time in terms of economics shows a time of relative prosperity and this is especially true when compared to other nations such as the USA and Germany, who for a time suffered much greater problems than Britain did.The first image that springs to most people's minds when they think of the Depression is the Jarrow marches. Jarrow is a useful case study. The town, which now lies in the county of Tyne and Wear was predominantly a shipping area before 1929. The Wall Street crash caused a ripple effect all over the world, and it eventually hit Jarrow. In her book "The Town That Was Murdered" Ellen Wilkinson tells of one of the main shipyards Palmer's and its closure. She puts forward the idea that it was "Financial weakness not technical inefficiency" that caused the closure of Palmer's. The closure caused 8000 redundancies! This area of the north suffered huge poverty, resulting in the march. It was a demand for something to be done by the government.The north was not the only place that saw social issues develop as a result of the Depression. In London, out of work Welshmen were seen in the streets entertaining Londoners in order to make ends meet. On the whole there was a clear increase in the amount of begging and the level of crime in the major cities. The men that were unemployed were often employed for a long time. This caused a different problem. Many firms, even when they were recovering, would ideally not want to employ a man who had been out of work for more than a year. The men are likely to be less efficient as they will not be up to date with recent techniques.Although unemployment was a major headache for the government there were many significant improvements to the quality of life of the nation. In the south there had been an influx of new industries, such as the introduction of the wireless (the BBC was created in 1922). The practice of mass production had also come across the Atlantic and car manufacture was growing rapidly (it was the best in Europe). There was also an increase in the electrical engineering market, which was aided by the formation of the National Grid. In terms of the social life of Britain, the cinema was a new, popular attraction (in Liverpool, it was so cheap even unemployed people could afford to go!) and theatres had a resurgence in numbers of ticket sales. New buildings were being built and they were not confined to the south, in Glasgow a 4000-seater theatre was constructed!On the whole there was an improvement in the health of the nation. However in some areas infant mortality was poor, such as in Oldham where 10% of children died before they...

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