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How successfully did Britain deal with the social and economic problems of the inter-war period? by Mind Map: How successfully did Britain deal with the
social and economic problems of the inter-war
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How successfully did Britain deal with the social and economic problems of the inter-war period?

1. Introduction: After a brief post-war boom, the British economy went into depression... why?

1. Decline of staple industries




Iron and steel

2. Growth of industry in other countries

American and Japanese ships were becoming better

Mechanical coal-mining better in Germany and America

Cotton industries in China & India

3. British wage costs

Cotton, engineering, shipbuilding and mine workers all had to have wage cuts

2. Inner Britain Vs Outer Britain

The depressed areas that were affected by the decline in the industries were mainly in "outer Britain".




South Wales

On the other hand, London and the midlands were not economically depressed.

3. £££ Government policy £££

Wanted to balance the budget

Did not want to borrow money to help industry

Fixed the value of the £sterling to the Gold Standard

Criticised by many economists (including J.M. Keynes)

The dole

4. General Strike, 1926

Wage cuts

Strong unions

Coal industry hit worst

1925 Mine owners wanted wage cuts - Government paid the difference to maintain wages until a commission enquired into the coal inustry

The Samuel Commission supported wag cuts and longer hours

May, 1926 - Lock out and strike!

Transport, railway, building, printing, gas and electricity workers came out in sympathy with the miners.

Lasted only 9 days

The government had dealt well with the strike

OMS _ Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies / Soldiers protected food convoys / Volunteers drove cars

The miners stayed out on strike for 6 months after the TUC called it off

Results of the strike not good for unions, Membership fell by around 2 million, Trades Dispute Act 1927, Spirit of trade militancy was broken

5. Wall Street Crash, 1929: Great Depression

Rise in unemployment

Budget deficit

New National Government

Took Britain off the Gold Standard

Cut unemployment benefit and introduced a Mean Test

Cut public sector wages

Introduced an Import Duties Act

Introduced the Special Areas Act, 1934

Managed to balance the budget and helped end the great Depression from 1934 on.

6. Social Problems

Poverty in depressed areas

High infant mortality and death rate

Poor diet and unhealthy conditions

Hunger Marches


Some parts of Britain were more prosperous than others

7. The Jarrow March, 1936

72% unemployment in Jarrow Vs 15% national unemployment

The Jarrow March had the same aims as the Hunger Marches but was organised separately

200 men marched from Jarrow to London

Accompanied part of the way by Labour Party MP for the area, Ellen Wilkinson

Stopped in various towns along the way for rest and to highlight their problems

Presented a signed petition to government

Did not achieve much, but it did highlight their problems among the middle classes

8. Conclusion...

Do you think the British government was successful or not in dealing with the various social and economic problems they faced during the interwar period?

Whatever way you choose to answer, make sure it ties in with the evidence you have presented in your essay.