Britain During the Depression

HideShow resource information

Why did traditional industries decline?

  • First World War
  • Lack of investment on modernising machinery meant Welsh coal was expensive, Many countries turnd to Poland anad USA
  • USA and Poland had modernised their iron and steel industries and produce was cheaper so cou ntries turned to them
  • Industrial disputes- General Strike 1926
1 of 21

What was the impact of the 1929 crisis?

  • Slump in world trade
  • US industries closed down and millions became unemployed
  • Worst hit areas of depression were Wales, Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland- traditional industries
2 of 21

Was the depression caused by USA?

Yes

  • Countries turned to USA for cheaper coal
  • produce was cheaper
  • modernised industries 
  • collapse of US stock market
  • Wall Street Crash 1929
  • Called in loans
  • British businesses couldn't sell in US anymore

No


  • lack of investment in modernising industries
  • expensive produce
  • general strike 1926
  • debt from ww1
  • lost oversea markets
  • traditional industries in decline


3 of 21

What was mass unemployment?

  • Many Welsh coal and steelworks shut down-Abertillery and Dowlais
  • South Wales was one of the hardest hit named a "depressed area"
  • Rhondda Valleys named a "black spot"
  • 1936 King Edward VII visited and said "something must be done"
  • Skilled miners and steelworkers were reduced to claiming unemplyment benefit
  • Conservative government trying to reduce spending and found it hard to help the worst affected areas
  • Unemployed Assistance Board managed "the dole" from 1934
  • means test managed how much benefits the family got
  • Benefits only lasted 6 months and payments were low
  • increase in diseases like TB and scarlet fever
  • Increase in infant mortality
  • pepople became depressed, apathetic and suicidal
  • Communities grew vegetables on allotments 
  • Miners went on coal tips for small coal
4 of 21

Contrast to mass unemployment

  • greater variety of work in coastal areas and Cardiff
  • Uplands in Swansea and Roath in Cardiff prospered
5 of 21

Why did the government introduce the means test?

  • reduce public spending
  • unemployment was high, so government were getting less taxes which means less money and couldn't afford to help everyone so helped the worst off only
  • look after the rich due to conservative government
  • encourage people to get jobs
6 of 21

Why did many people hate the means test?

  • humiliating and degrading
  • benefits lasted 6 months
  • malnourished
  • poor clothing
  • no shoes
  • increase in diseases - TB
  • people come look at your home
  • not much money
7 of 21

Impact on women

  • In most deprived areas women suffered the most
  • mothers go without food to feed their families or have smallest portions
  • make ends meet
  • meals with cheap ingredients- rabbit instead of pork
  • neglected own health and well-being
  • deaths in childbirth and women illnesses generally were higher in Wales
  • women repaired and patched clothing
  • pawned valuables
  • cut families hair
8 of 21

How did people protest

  • National Unemplyed Workers Movement organised protests against mass unemployment 
  • "hunger marches" where people marched for jobs
  • The Jarrow Crusade- from Tyneside to London 196
  • local protests against the dole and the mean test
  • When government threatened to cut benefits February 1935 large-scale marches held in Rhondda, Aberdare and Pontypool
  • UAB in Merthyr attacked and ransacked by women
  • SOuth Wakles Miner Federation organised stay down strikes in protest against low wages and poor conditions
  • Communists gained support in South Wales as they protested and rioted. Several were arrested
  • Some protests generated public sympathy 
  • government didnt change their policies 
9 of 21

How successful were protests in 1930's

Success

  • publicity
  • gained support in South Wales
  • UAB attacked by large group of women
  • generated smpathy- people in rich areas realised the situation
  • help raise self esteem

Failure


  • some were arrested 
  • threatened to cut benefits
  • didnt change policies
  • jarrow crusade- lost benefits
  • the fed changed nothing
10 of 21

How successful were protests in 1930's

Success

  • publicity
  • gained support in South Wales
  • UAB attacked by large group of women
  • generated smpathy- people in rich areas realised the situation
  • help raise self esteem

Failure


  • some were arrested 
  • threatened to cut benefits
  • didnt change policies
  • jarrow crusade- lost benefits
  • the fed changed nothing
11 of 21

What was the nature of popular culture and enterta

  • helped people cope with hardships
  • fewer people spent money supporting professional football
  • ameateur sport e.g. rugby union did better - most welsh town had own rugby team
  • Glamorgan cricket team had a number of succesful seasons
  • Tommy Farr's unsuccesful fight for world heavyweight became successful 
  • 1930's radios came of age
  • BBC Welsh Region 1937 gave radio a boost
  • 1936 first tv programmes broadcasted from London-50,000 viewers by 1939
  • most popular form of entertainment was cinema because of talkies
  • tickets affordable for luxurty cinemas 
  • Proud Valley had Welsh background 1939
  • Children collect pop bottles in return for cinema tickets
  • Minets institutes built before ww1- snooker tabes, libraries and dance halls
  • Communities organised carnivals and eisteddfods 
12 of 21

Why was popular entertainment important

  • cope with hardships
  • more jobs
  • amateur sport
  • more money
  • jazz bands
  • role models
  • communitites together
  • boosted morale
13 of 21

What was the importance of new industry?

  • some areas industrial expansion took place- Midlands, South-east England and Slough
  • new housing and good transport links in these areas
  • Mass production from usa ford motor company used for cars, aircraft and electrical goods
  • new technology led to production of Rayon and bakelite
  • flourishing businesses- cadbury's in birmingham
  • new "light" industries produced by electricty 
  • 1933 national grid, supplying electrical power to all regions
  • some peoples living standards improved
  • The Special Areas Act 1934 appointed commissioner to oversee four distressed areas- south east Wales
  • £1 million provided to encourage employers to set up new factories- Treforest trading estate
  • Some employers reluctant to move to Treforest
  • New Steelworks Ebbw Vale 1938
14 of 21

Did new industry help solve problems of the depres

yes

  • new housing estates 
  • transport links
  • mass production
  • steelworks
  • new technology
  • electricity 
  • living standards improved for some people
  • products more affordable
  • Special Areas Act 1934- £1 million to encourage new industry

No


  • Special Areas Act, employers were reluctant to move
  • only solved problems in certain areastraditional industries provided jobs- steelworks Ebbw Vale 1938
15 of 21

Importance of population movement

  • thousands emigrated from Wales to USA, Australia and New Zealand
  • 1929 emigration abroad ceased and unemployed workers from Wales were moving to more prosperous areas of England 
  • Some too advantage of Government scheme to help them find a job in England
  • Sometimes not welcomed by communities 
  • willing to work for lowest pays
  • 430,000 people left Wales
16 of 21

Why did some people move from Wales to England

  • more jobs- London/Birmingham
  • better living standards
  • government scheme 
  • Wales was a depressed area with few jobs
  • emmigration abroad ceased
17 of 21

Did Welsh people find a better life in England

Yes


  • people moved from distressed areas with no jobs
  • find jobs in New Industries in England- Birmingham
  • Government helped to find jobs so easy

No

  • Welsh unwelcomed by new communities sometimes
  • blamed for taking jobs as they would work for lowest pay
  • old people didn't wamt to move
  • some people couldn't find jobs
18 of 21

How did Wales recover from depression

  • Special Areas Act 1934- £1 million for new industry
  • New industries set up in North Wales and Ebbw Vale
  • Government had job creation schemesrepairing Roman wall in Caerwent
  • New armament factories built in Bridgend
  • advent of ww2 bpught to end of depression
19 of 21

Why did some people move from Wales to England

  • more jobs- London/Birmingham
  • better living standards
  • government scheme 
  • Wales was a depressed area with few jobs
  • emmigration abroad ceased
20 of 21

Why did some people move from Wales to England

  • more jobs- London/Birmingham
  • better living standards
  • government scheme 
  • Wales was a depressed area with few jobs
  • emmigration abroad ceased
21 of 21

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Changes in British society during the 20th century resources »