How successful were the National Governments in dealing with economic problems in the years 1931 to 1939?

Topics: Neville Chamberlain, Great Depression, Chancellor of the Exchequer Pages: 2 (626 words) Published: March 5, 2014


How successful were the National Governments in dealing with economic problems in the years 1931 to 1939? [24]

The National Government, formed in 1931 by Ramsay Macdonald to tackle the economic problems that Britain was undergoing at the time can be seen to be a success in many ways, but equally in many ways a failure. This essay attempts to recognize and elaborate upon those successes and shortcomings, and ultimately come to a conclusion on how successful the National Government were overall.

Firstly, we can look statistically at the impact the three National Governments had on Britain. Unemployment in the UK fell from nearly 3 million to half a million from 1932 - 1939, this clearly shows a positive impact that the National Governments had on the decline. On the other hand however, if we look at the global economic status along this timeline we can see virtually the same pattern of unemployment; sharply falling over the seven year period, and so we can suggest that the fall of unemployment was not as a result of the success of the National Government, but as a result of global economic recovery.

Although this is a valid argument, many rest their reasoning for the fall of unemployment and therefore the success of the National Government on the rearmament scheme put in place in order to prepare for combat against fascist movements rising in central Europe. The rearmament scheme was an attempt to manufacture arms and militarize as quickly as possible, and therefore created many jobs for the large population of unemployed people in the UK at the time. Despite the seemingly overwhelming success of the National Government on the economy in the policy of rearmament, we can make the point that rearmament was not a policy intended at all to tackle the economic problems Britain was facing, and instead simply served as a measure taken to protect the country from foreign invasion. Because of this, it can be argued that rearmament does not count as a success...
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