Economic Recovery During The 1 Essay

This essay has a total of 1522 words and 6 pages.

Economic Recovery During The 1


During the 1920's many economic problems occurred in Britain. However the main problems
did not occur until 1929 when the Wall Street Crash occurred. The Wall Street Crash
involved share prices falling to about 1/4 or even less than what they were bought for.
This essay will examine how Britain was affected during the 1930's and will look at the
reforms introduced by the National Government. This will be done by examining four areas
namely Depression, Labours Response, National Governments Response and other reasons for
recovery. By examining these four areas it will hopefully become evident whether or not
the reforms introduced by the National Government contributed to economic recovery.


Depression was felt world wide especially in America and Britain. America was affected by
the wall street crash more than other countries because many people held shares and due to
prices falling were unable to pay their debts which led to financial ruin. Due to many
people relying on trade from America and little money being available meant that America
could not provide trade to the same extent as previous years. Britain was badly hit by
depression in areas where industries such as coal, steal and shipbuilding were based. Due
to demand for trade in these areas being low many of these industries had to lay off their
workforce or even close down. Due to these redundancies and closures the levels of
unemployment rose. Areas in Britain which were drastically affected by these closures were
Clydeside, South Wales, the North East of England and Northern Ireland. During this time
of high unemployment figures peaked at 3 million. This level of unemployment stayed the
same for a period of three years.


Overall it can be seen that depression occurred world wide and that full economic recovery
was going to be hard to achieve. It can also be seen that it was going to take a long time
to achieve full economic recovery especially in areas which relied on traditional
industries.


The first party to try and tackle the economic problems was the Labour party led by Ramsey
McDonald. Labours approach to tackling the economic problems was to follow the traditional
line of the classical economists which was to balance the budget and use laissez faire.
Laissez faire meant that the government did not get involved in the economy. Their
immediate response was to introduce 10% wage cuts for those working in the public sector
e.g. teachers. Another change they introduced involved withdrawing about 200,000 women
from being eligible to receive benefits. These steps clearly show that the labour party
were tackling economic recovery the wrong way. Labours financial advisors called the May
Committee wanted Labour to take reform even further. They wanted labour to reduce benefits
and introduce a scheme called means testing. Means testing meant families incomes would be
examined before any benefit would be handed out. However many of labours party members
opposed further reform as they felt that they were elected to help the poor and the
working class. By introducing the May Committees proposals the opposing members felt that
they would be breaking their promises. Due to the mixed reaction occurring within the
labour party and people having different ideas on how to tackle the economic problems the
labour party split.


Overall it can be seen that the labour party set out to try and solve the economic
problems but could not go to the extent needed. It can also be seen that labour took the
wrong direction when trying to tackle the problems. The split of the labour party showed
that lots of people had different ideas on how to combat the economic problems.


As a result of the labour party splitting a National Coalition Government was formed. This
party consisted of the whole Conservative party and a minority of the Labour party. The
coalition party was led by the ex labour prime minister Ramsey McDonald. The National
Government continued on the same line as the labour party which was to use laissez faire
and balance the budget. The first thing they did was to introduce the proposals of the May
Committee which meant that Means Testing was introduced and benefits were made available
for a period of 26 weeks. These changes led to a public out cry and clearly showed that
laissez faire was not the right way to tackle the economic problems.


Continues for 3 more pages >>




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