The Hardships Of The Great Depression

1664 Words 7 Pages
AIA105 - Visions of Australia: Time and Space from 1700 to 2000
Assessment 3: Research Essay (40%)
Anna Bright

Question 11: Were the hardships of the Depression in Australia a ‘myth’ Why/why not?

In Australia The Great Depression occurred between the years of 1929–32. It is said by many to be a time of extreme hardship. According to Evans, (2006, p. 5) ‘the Australian society reacted to the depression with confusion, anger and a search for someone to blame’. However, some researchers believe that this time period was not as bad as what the statistics tell us, stating that perhaps the hardships are a myth. Potts, David is one of those researchers who calls the Great Depression ‘a modern myth’ (Potts, 2009, p. 331)

‘The Great Depression’
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An example were hawkers, a person who walks around selling goods, advertising their goods by shouting. Many shopkeepers and small businesses felt these people were undercutting their trade with their low prices as they were not paying tax (Potts, 2009, p. 101). Thus, prices fell by about 25% over the period of 1929-33, this is due to increased competition, hawkers, and a decrease in spending (Payne & Uren, 2014, p. 351). Due to people buying from hawkers and not shops, whatever income hawkers were gaining, the shops were alternately losing. Thus, the official statistics recorded the losses as they were known, and the gains made by the ‘unemployed’ (the hawkers) would have gone unmeasured. Therefore, perhaps there was more money in the economy than the statistics illustrate (Potts, 2009, p. …show more content…
J 1974 ‘The Great Depression: was Queensland different?’ Labour History Issue 26, p. 32-48

Cottle, D & Keys, A 2008 ‘Anatomy of an 'Eviction Riot ' in Sydney during the Great Depression’ Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society Vol 92 Part 2 p. 186 - 200

Evans, R 2006 ‘Defending the cause of liberty during the Great Depression’, IPA Review

Fishback, P 2012 ‘Relief During the Great Depression in Australia and America’ Australian Economic History Review, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 221-249,
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8446.2012.00355.x

Lowenstein, W 1998 ‘Weevils in the Flour: an oral record of the 1930s depression in Australia’, 20th anniversary edition, Scribe, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia.

Payne, J & Uren, L 2014 ‘Economic Policy and the Great Depression in a Small Open Economy.’ Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Vol. 46, No. 2–3 p. 347 - 370

Peel, M & Twomey C 2011 Chapter 11 ‘A History of Australia’ A Nation Divided: 1919-39 p. 175 - 197

Potts, David (2009) Chapter 5 ‘Making do: Help and self help.’ and Chapter 17 ‘Conclusions: history and myth’ The Myth of the Great depression p. 90-109, p.

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