Explain the international and domestic factors that bought about the depression in the industrialised world during the 1930’s.
  Australia’s unemployment rate was second to Germany during the time of the depression. While the timing of the depression was linked with the collapse of the New York stock market in October 1929, internal factors were already in play. Australia owed overseas banks millions and when those banks called in their loans Australia was forced to sell off its gold reserves to pay its debt.

  1. How did the Australian government respond to the crisis?
Sir otto Niemeyer, a representative from the Bank of England, advised the governments that Australia was ‘living beyond its means’ and the only solution was a reduction in living standards. Factories could no longer produce goods and services for government projects and the unemployment grew. Both the state and federal governments agreed to balance their budgets, take out no more loans and service government debt only from revenue.

  2. How did attitudes towards charity and relief temper the government response?
Proposals to set up a national unemployment scheme in 1927 were squashed by employees and even workers who were concerned such a scheme would stifle independence and initiative for unemployed people to go out and find a job. Charity was believed, would stifle this initiative and discourage the unemployed from taking up work.

  3. Describe the impact of the depression on the lives of Australians across the social spectrum. Provide two contrasting examples in your answer.
Working women had long been the target of prejudice and had been blamed for everything from juvenile delinquency, the falling birth rate and marriage breakdowns. Many journalists and unemployed men targeted women saying that they were taking mens jobs as the majority of women worked in narrow famished occupations. The upper class took little notice of the depression and life went on normally for many of them....