The Great Depression in Australia Give a definition of depression when it refers to economy

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The Great Depression in Australia

  1. Give a definition of depression when it refers to economy.

A time of low economic activity, distinguished from recession by being prolonged and sustained, characterised by continuing falls in output, high and rising unemployment and companies burdened with unsold stocks because demand is low.

  1. When was the Great Depression in Australia? 1929-32

  1. What were Australia’s lowest and highest unemployment rates during the Great Depression? In Australia more than doubled to twenty-one per cent in mid-1930, and reached its peak in mid-1932 when almost thirty-two per cent of Australians were out of work.

4. What were the causes of the Great Depression?

  • A fall in export prices and sales

  • A fall in overseas loans leading to a reduction in government capital spending

  • A fall in residential construction

  1. What were the social impacts of the Great Depression on Australians? Australian society was devastating. Without work and a steady income many people lost their homes and were forced to live in makeshift dwellings with poor heating and sanitation.

Other social consequences of the Great Depression included:

    • working class children consistently leaving school at thirteen or fourteen years old

    • married women carrying a greater domestic burden: home-making was still considered a woman's role, so even if a woman had worked all day scrubbing floors to bring in some money, her unemployed husband would still expect her to cook dinner and keep the house in order

    • jobs being easier to find for young people, but the work had little future career prospects and many young workers were sacked by the time they turned sixteen, eighteen or twenty-one years of age

migrants, particularly those from Italy and southern Europe, being resented because they worked for less wages than others despite having relatively little in the way of family or friends to call on for help.

  1. List the political impacts of the Great Depression in Australia. Many Australians lost confidence in the abilities of their government representatives

  1. Who brought political stability to the Australian government after the effects of the Great Depression? Joseph Lyons

  1. How much money was given to help unemployment in Australia? $1,000,000 to the states to provide relief to the unemployed

  1. What sorts of work were the unemployed given? It was used for road works - could also free up funds to help the unemployed in other areas. But the numbers of unemployed continued to grow.

  1. What did Australia do in an attempt to solve its economic problems? Trade deals with the United States and Japan were dropped in favour of Britain and Australia tended to follow Britain's policy of appeasement in order to prevent war with fascist powers in Europe.

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