What was the state of Britain in 1929?

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  • What was the state of Britain in 1929?
    • Economic
      • Gold Standard
        • Post-1918 - unstable financial system
        • 1925 - return to the Gold Standard
          • hoped that it would increase financial stability and help economic modernisation
            • 1931 - the pound is devalued against the dollar
      • Decline of Staple Industries
        • struggled with the changing markets and decreased importance
        • less demand for engineering, coal and chemical industries
        • post-1923 - British railway companies had not paid any dividends  to shareholders
      • Unemployment
        • the annual average rate of unemployment had not fallen below a million since 1920
        • 1926 - General Strike
          • pressure to increase wages
          • showed structural economic problems
    • Social
      • Role of Women
        • 1928 - women given the vote
        • changed appearance, increased masculine clothing post-1918
        • structurally, women were recognised as part of the workforce for their work during the First World War
      • Technological Shifts
        • rise of radio, popular press and the telephone
        • the population became less mobile, the majority of people walk or used a bike, few owned a car
        • increased pollution and the appearance of cities changed to accommodate rising leisure wealth
      • Rise in Wealth
        • importance of banking and financial services increases
        • the influence of the middle class decreases
        • increase of leisure wealth for the elite, holiday trips to Southend or Scarborough
    • Political
      • shift of anti-Conservative vote from the Liberals to Labour
        • Post-1915 - the Liberals never held office on their own
        • Labour becomes the party for the people
        • the Liberal influence on the modern welfare state becomes Labour's main priority
      • Conservatives seen as the 'natural power'
        • backed by the strengths of the 'establishment'
        • image of Baldwin typifies the Conservatives as the safe choice
        • frightened by the rise of Labour and power of trade unions
          • many felt the party needed to modernise
      • Rise of alternative ideologies
        • growth of fascism, socialism and communism
        • many felt in the UK, the 'Age of Socialism' had come

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