What Caused The High Level Of Unemployment In The Interwar Period In Britain? Could The Government Have Done More To Cure The Problem?

1446 words - 6 pages

The interwar period from 1919 to 1939 was a time of turmoil and hardship throughout Britain. The first world war tested the economy at a time when Britain's economic strength continued to decline in the face of other emerging powers such as the USA and Germany. Unemployment was rife throughout this period, remaining above 10% for over fifteen years.Generally seen as one of the major factors was structural unemployment, which came about largely through the decline of the older staple industries such as textiles, coal and ship building. These industries experienced a fall in demand as the first world war ended, but it was the fall in exports which had the greatest affect. Due to foreign tariffs and Britain's strong pound, British exports became less attractive to foreign buyers, which damaged the old industries and led to job losses#. This problem was compounded by occupational immobility, the people made redundant in textiles, coal mining, steel and ship building, did not have the skills necessary for the newer industries that were emerging such as automobiles, chemicals and engineering, they found it hard to get new jobs with many becoming unemployed for long periods of time.Another aspect of structural unemployment, was geographical immobility. The new industries were emerging in the south and east of England, away from the areas of high unemployment in the north and west of Britain. Many people were unwilling or unable to move to find a job. They found it hard to get housing they could afford, and many simply did not want to leave the areas they lived in.In 1936 John Maynard Keynes published his book "General Theory of Unemployment". This addressed the problem of demand deficient unemployment. He suggested that the reason for long term unemployment was due to companies unwilling to invest, and therefore not creating new jobs and more competitive industries. Keynes believed that as investment fell, government spending should rise in order to maintain or increase the level of aggregate demand in the economy. In the early twenties to combat the high inflation# , the government reduced spending and imposed monetary restrictions, and as the private sector was unwilling to invest Britain experienced a severe depression during 1921 and 1922#. Had the government not reduced spending the depression and the level of unemployment might not have been so severe. But demand deficiency can not be seen as being solely the governments fault, global economic uncertainty and the actions of trade unions# must also be noted.The level of unemployment benefit available to workers is also noted as being a contributor to the high level of unemployment during the interwar period. It is unlikely that many people gave up work in order to claim benefit as their main income, rather the high unemployment benefit available allowed people to survive for longer without a job. Some may have felt less inclined to find one or at least less inclined to take drastic action such as...

Find Another Essay On What Caused the high level of unemployment in the interwar period in Britain? Could the government have done more to cure the problem?

Why was unemployment such a persistent problem in Britain during the inter war years?

1995 words - 8 pages of the new industries where expansion was dramatic. Though severely hit by short-run fluctuations in demand, and benefiting at other times from rearmament and post-war booms, in the long run the industry's output remained very constant. The depression, however, caused high levels of unemployment and low demand. For example, in 1932 the tonnage of ships built fell one eighth of the level of the preceding years, unemployment as a whole rose to 62

What the Australian Government has done to improve the lives of Aborigines over the last 30 years, and how succesful have they been

2119 words - 8 pages facilitating the Aborigines lives, so that we won't feel any more guilt for our past? Achieving the amount of parity we need for our nation between the whites and blacks of Australians I don't believe will ever be accomplished, due to the harsh history we posses. To reinforce this point of view, I will be looking at a number of government proposals that have contributed to improving the quality of aboriginal life, and the way in which indigenous

What are the main causes of high unemployment in Zimbabwe? How serious a problem is it? Will land resettlement and HIV-AIDS ease or worsen the situation? Give reasons

1529 words - 6 pages numbers of youths seeking training opportunities. There is also a high mismatch of skills acquired from training on one hand and the labour market opportunities on the other has led to increased job seekers.Seriousness of the problem:The issue of unemployment in Zimbabwe has reached such alarming levels which have brought discontent among the citizens of the country. This has been evidenced by the massive increases in the crime rates and other issues

The capital-intensive nature of the economy, high levels of market concentration and the high level of unemployment - are Marx's predictions coming true for South Africa?

2086 words - 8 pages In this essay I will attempt to illustrate how the capital-intensive nature of the economy, the high levels of market concentration and the high level of unemployment in South Africa are both related yet at the same time have many other independent variables accounting for them. I will compare this with the Marxian concept of economics, and will start by examining exactly what Marx's beliefs were and, therefore, how they lead to his predictions

Romeo and Juliet What a Little Change Could Have Done

771 words - 3 pages What a Little Change Could Have DoneRomeo and Juliet, is a story of two young lovers, whose love was destined for destruction. They did not imagine that their love would lead to the tragedies that it did. These two young people did nothing wrong except fall in love. Three aspects of their destruction included the feud between the two families, the nurse and her betrayal of Juliet and the most important aspect of all is fate.The feud between the

Nothing short of war could have any effect on the Russian system of government." How accurate is this view of the Tsarist system of government from 1800 to 1917?

1155 words - 5 pages and poor living conditions was to make them more politically aware. Under the shiny veneer of a happy, hard-working peasant lay a bitter hatred of the upper classes. All moves to industrialisation and urbanisation had been done without regard to him or his expense. He felt useless and was disenchanted with his country and situation, but did not realise what he could do about it. However when these factors arose, a political consciousness came

Chinese government has killed more than the Nazis- How one day Google and France will have to answer to Chinese liberated from communism

594 words - 2 pages According to today's New York Times, newspapers in China have been closed with reporters and editors jailed and even killed, like Wu Xianghu, a newspaper editor who died last week after being beaten by the fascist police. Gao Zhisheng, a lawyer who has defended hundreds of victims of torture here in China, said the Communist party was responsible for more deaths than the Nazis, but the West (as shown most recently by Google and Microsoft) will

Economic Policies in the Interwar Period and the Post-World War Two Period

1878 words - 8 pages 1914 marked a critical turning point in global affairs and the economy, as the destruction of the Great War not only physically affected millions of people, but it also destroyed the system of global capitalism which existed prior to 1914. During the interwar period, American isolationism from international trade and affairs left the major powers without the infrastructure or leadership to continue the international trade, investment, and

What Caused the People of Salem to Have Mass Hysteria?

788 words - 4 pages could of been faking it to get revenge on their enemies. Why would these people randomly accuse innocent people of being witches? Something had to have caused all the mass Hysteria leading to the witch trials in Salem. One way these accusers could have gotten mass hysteria is post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety where a person feels guilty or goes insane after some act of violence or death. These

The level and types of unemployment that existed in the UK in the post war decades. How successive UK governments adopted economic policies to reduce unemployment

1881 words - 8 pages unemployment in the UK particularly around 1932 in the year of the great depression when 23% of the population was unemployed. After the 2nd world war many believed the problem was solved.During the war many women had been employed in arms and ammunitions factories which were no longer needed after the war and many industrial factories had been destroyed, coupled with everyone returning from war led to the high levels of unemployment remaining in

What wrongs have white administrators done to Aborginal people in the past? Have all wrong been righted?

1098 words - 4 pages ,' Aboriginal children were taken from the families an forcibly placed in an institution and were denied further contact with their families.(Aboriginal legal service, 1995 pp ii)For white Australia, the feeling of responsibility, shame, apologetic and sympathetic for what their past people have done to the Aboriginals. The Aboriginals feeling anguished, rejected and feeling in a sence made 'different' from the Europeans.'For Aboriginal

Similar Essays

Major Causes Of Unemployment, Recent Unemployment Performance, Policy Options Available To The Government To Achieve A Sustained Reduction In The Level Of Unemployment In Australian Economy

1996 words - 8 pages many countries still have lower unemployment levels including Ireland New Zealand and Japan."Assess the policy options available to the government to achieve a sustained reduction in the level of unemployment"The labour market’s ability to sustain low unemployment is a result of improved Macroeconomic Policy frameworks and extensive Microeconomic Reform over a long period of time.Macroeconomic Policy allows the government to alter aggregate

Juvenile Delinquency, The Extent, Some Suggestions On What It's Caused By, And What Is Being Done In Various Communities To Deal With This Growing Problem

930 words - 4 pages little more than protective custody forjuvenile delinquents. In conclusion, I have defined juvenile delinquency, explained theextent of juvenile delinquency, gave some suggestions on what causes juvenile delinquency,and what is being done in various communities to deal with the problem of juveniledelinquency.

Policies The Australian Government Uses To Counter High Unemployment Rate In Austraila

1628 words - 7 pages % in 1961 to below 6% today of the Australian labour force that is involved in the primary industry (Parry & Kemp,2002).Some economic costs of such unemployment could be the increase in government funding into the welfare system. The increase need to support more unemployed people during such bad economic times add an increase strain on government budgeting and the taxation system. As the government spends more on the welfare system, they are

How Significant A Problem Was Unemployment In The Inter War Years In Britain?

1078 words - 4 pages is almost unimaginable by today's standards where the national unemployment rate is just 6%. It had never been seen before the inter war period either. The problem was not isolated only to England and Wales but also 'special areas' in Scotland too.On a more national scales the statistics for individual industries are equally shocking and list of those seriously affected areas of work is long. Particularly cotton, iron, steel, and ship builders