Analyze the effects of the Great Depression on Australia in the 1930s.

Essay by mattskibaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2007

download word file, 5 pages 4.2

The Great Depression had an immense effect on Australia both economically and socially. During the time of the Great Depression Australia's economy was largely dependent on wool and wheat exports thus when the Depression hit and the exports lessened in value many industries were consequently effected, leaving many out of work. Due to the increasing unemployment rate there was a sense of insecurity and hopelessness throughout Australian society which came to a shock to many whom were unprepared, especially the middle to lower working class families. In contrast, however, a silver lining in the darkening cloud of the Depression was seen by some and many today. The wealthy and employed remained relatively well off as they enjoyed the price decrease. The Depression also brought about goodness in people with charities and taught many important lessons which was apart of the shaping of Australia's character.

The cause of the Great Depression is debatable however it is acknowledged by many that it was the Wall St, New York Stock Exchange, crash which signalled the recession many countries faced into the depression.

One of the main reasons Australia fell victim to the Great Depression was because of the debts Australia owed to Britain and overseas. For example, one year before the Depression in 1928 the government had borrowed £52 million. For Australia to repay their massive debts the exportation of wool and wheat was heavily depended upon. Also lack of funding from overseas also produced a reduction of public working, causing unemployment. The newly unemployed then brought about more unemployment as there were less buying goods as they could not afford them. By 1932 unemployment was at it's highest at 32%.

The Great Depression shocked Australia's economy greatly as it "rode on the sheep's back". The dependence on wool and wheat exports...