The great depression.

Essay by thevillageidiot August 2003

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"What attempts were made to try and solve the problem of the Great Depression in Australia and why did they have so little success?"

The Great Depression of the 1930s is a time that will always be remembered around the world as the worst economic slump ever to affect the US, and consequently the rest of the industrialised world. The Depression brought with it many ramifications such as a huge drop in the living standards of the working class, the collapse of many nations' economies and mass political upheaval and division. The actual causes of the Great Depression lie much deeper than the simple Wall Street crash, and have their roots in the decrease in foreign trade, the overproduction of goods and the uneven distribution of wealth in the 1920s. As a result, attempts to find solutions to this worldwide catastrophe were the source of much debate and controversy in Australia for much of the depression era.

A depression is a massive economic slump or a long period of industrial and financial decline. Capitalist economies such as Australia's revolve on what is known as the trade cycle. This is the fluctuating (rising or falling) of the levels of economic activity over a period of time. As the demand for goods rises, as well as the levels of employment and profits, the economy grows and reaches a high point in the trade cycle. However, a recession then occurs as the boom economic conditions level off and begin a downward movement. If this downward movement does not begin to upturn and enter a period of recovery, then a depression results as has happened in the 1840s, 1890s and on a larger scale, in the 1930s.

Following the events and sacrifices of World War I, many people thought there were...