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Exam Revision The Depression Sandra Schneiderman Star of the Sea College 2011.

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1 Exam Revision The Depression Sandra Schneiderman Star of the Sea College 2011

2 The Depression It will be in the form of an essay that will ask you to respond to a prompt. It is worth 20 marks ‘The crisis of the Depression negatively affected all Australians.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement? Or ‘The Depression made all aspect of life uncertain for those living in Australia.’ How far do you agree with this statement?

3 Structure Your introduction must identify the key words of the question, such as Crisis Exposes ALL sections of society Challenge Change If you follow the order of the question, you should have 4 strong paragraphs

4 The Depression Your introduction must indicate how you will respond to the prompt, but you must show that you can look at more than one group who were affected by the period, and THE EXTENT to which they were affected. This needs to be identified in terms of economic, political and social change, both long and short term Which groups in society in particular were challenged or not How had they changed or stayed the same by the end of the period It is imperative that you include the names of Historians of the period: Grimshaw; Lowenstein, Cannon, Potts, Blainey, Spencely,

5 What was the CRISIS? Identify what the Depression was, who was most affected, and to what extent initially The working class to a great extent because their employment rate declined from 10% prior to the Depression to 29% by 1932 Identify what a crisis meant to this group, and how they had to deal with it. Discuss how each family dealt with it DIFFERENTLY, even if families and individuals shared some experiences.

6 Short term Crisis for the working class Think in terms of short and long term and use your metalanguage:  Eviction  Hunger and malnutrition  Illnesses  Extreme poverty  Unemployment  Destitution  Loss of dignity  Some women forced to turn to prostitution  Rise in backstreet abortion rates  Wages for those employed dropped  Others that you can think of and support this with a piece of anecdotal evidence from your studies

7 Ways of Coping Politically Union membership increased by 1932 Anti-eviction groups Some joined the Communist and Socialist parties Marched for better food and conditions Went on strike Many men and unions argued that women were taking men's’ jobs Women fought for contraception Jack Lang fought for the battler but lost his seat in N.S.W. Violent clashes against opposing groups such as The New Guard There was both long and short term change Socially Had sing-alongs Shared what they had Still went to the beach, or to the races and bought cheap seats at the cinema Some jumped the rattler with mates and had a bit of an adventure Emergence of Social Realism in Art:  Noel Counihan painted workers, the poor, Aborigines and prostitutes as a weapon that depicted the injustices and poverty of the Depression, and exposed social injustice  His work offended the world of ‘high art’

8 Was everyone affected the same way? Not all people in this category experienced unemployment or extreme poverty. For some it was an initial crisis, but they managed to deal with it periodically and/or sporadically Women could find work, but for less pay. By 1933 25% of workers were women and only 15% of women were unemployed-males 26% by 1932 Some children could find work if they lied about their age. Some moved in with family/some children sent to orphanages Some found part time and sporadic work Some managed on the Susso or handouts Others left their family to ease the burden Some were well prepared and had family support Other families had no support and some took to the drink

9 Aborigines Many changes for Aborigines at this time Exploited in the work force, esp. in the cattle industry Many placed on reserves and the Protectorates forcibly took children and placed them in white homes, never to be seen again Aboriginal women working in stations received only half of what the men received 1928 Coniston Massacres of Alice Springs; police and 8 white men murdered at least 31 aboriginal people. A Govt inquiry concluded that these killings were ‘necessary’ and there were no punishments for the perpetrators In NSW many Aboriginal families lost their endowment entitlements, denied access to relief work schemes, the protection board used police to forcefully move Aborigine onto reserves so they couldn’t receive the dole Aboriginal reserve dwellers in NSW received only 41p p/w between 1930- 1936, and white Aust men rose from 69p-108p per week Aborigines only received half the unemployed food relief available to white unemployed Self Empowerment: In Dubbo, NSW William Ferguson, an aboriginal shearer formed the Aborigines’ Progressive Association in 1937 campaigned for citizenship 1938 William Cooper proposed the 150 th anniversary “of Br. Settlement as a National Day of Mourning

10 The Middle Class The Middle classes experienced a range of challenges and opportunities Some were fearful of exposure through loss of jobs and were shamed Others managed to maintain a good standard of living and in fact benefitted through the drop in prices of goods and services Others made cut backs, but still enjoyed going to the ‘flicks’, dances and the races especially to see Phar Lap Some were fearful of losing their jobs but kept up appearances Gave a hand to their families if they could, some cash or food and hand me downs Some were fearful and joined groups such as The New Guard as they struggled to keep a grasp on their reality of what was happening Those who were somewhat affected took in ironing, or pretended to go to work, often there was an overwhelming sense of shame Some small shop owners or business people lost their businesses through generosity or couldn’t make ends meet

11 Wealthy Some people became even wealthier They could afford even more luxury goods as prices came down Could afford more staff as there was a cut in wages Bought up real estate and bankrupt businesses Some were very generous, gave generously to charities Wealthy women would hold fund raising events and Deb Balls where the proceeds went to charities Sydney Myer generously offered job share opportunities and gave generously to charities Some exploited the unemployed and worked them unfairly or didn’t pay fairly There were a range of experiences and reactions

12 Changes by 1937-39 Short Term By 1932 1/3 rd of the country was unemployed but 2/3rds better off with lower prices Price of wool and wheat fell dramatically as Aust paid back it’s o.s. Loans Increased stress due to uncertainty Increase in infant mortality and malnutrition Nature of the ‘breadwinner’ being Dad changed, loss of dignity as women and children became the major wage earners Rise in union and political party involvement More dependence on charities and the SUSSO, Govt’s became more aware of the need for social responsibility with pensions etc Increased police violence Some people lost their homes but others were given extra time on their mortgages Long Term Govts made plans to ensure that an economic Depression like this would hopefully never happen again Some people have bitter memories Others believe that it taught them how to budget and make do People were politicized and realized the power of activism For Aborigines, many lost whole families, children were taken from them and they were even more disenfranchised than before For many there would be long term debts to be repaid, lost houses to be replaced, severed families to reconnect and confidence restored to those who had lost their dignity through continual unemployment

13 Long Term outcomes cont. ‘The Depression indicated the need for a revision of attitudes toward the case for the unemployed. Policies were needed to ensure that such large-scale unemployment could never happen again. And if those policies failed, there had to be provisions to prevent those who became unemployed from losing their dignity again’ (The Depression Decade, G. Spencely p90) By and large though, although Australia saw the rise of some extremist parties, it was not to the extent that Europe did. Ironically, it was the fight against these ideologies that allowed Australia’s economy to grow.

14 Remember Do remember to: Use accurate dates and statistics Include anecdotes and peoples’ names respectfully Include Historian perspectives Address the key criteria Use the metalanguage of the period Keep referring back to the prompt Look at many groups in society Write as many practise essays before the exam as possible so you feel comfortable with your time management and information Do Not: Generalize-there are many groups of people who were affected in a variety of ways, everybody had their own experiences Do not just focus on the working class or unemployed Do not forget to include political, social and economic information Do not forget to follow a logical train of argument, try to follow some form of chronology that shows change over time Do not forget to show long and short term change Do not stress too much. If you practise, you can’t help but succeed!


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