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How far can the fortunes of the British economy in the 1930s be explained in terms of British industrial decline After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 the economy of those countries dependent on trade collapsed due to the crisis in America Britain was one of these countries The aim of this essay is to establish the extent of the effect that Britains industry had on her economy after this depression There is no doubt that the stock market crash had a profound and disastrous effect on the economy Between 1929 and 1931 the value of British exports fell by 50 and Britain had a trade deficit of 100 million There were also 3 million people unemployed in 1931 All of this goes to show that at the beginning of the decade the British economy was in crisis not because of industry but because of the collapse of share values in America Despite this it was American investors that formed the majority of Britains new industries such as the Ford car company and the Hoover Corporation These industries whilst booming in the South totally bypassed the North of the country and only provided 7 of employment in 1934 Therefore these newer industries did not really have a significant effect on he economy as a whole Throughout the 1930s unemployment fell However although this may sound like a positive factor of the economy the number of people unemployed never dropped below 15 million and at its peak was 3 million This high figure was due to the decline of traditional industries such as coal mining steel production and shipbuilding These were the very industries that had allowed Britain to attain such a position of power in the first industrial revolution However Britains policy of laissez-faire meant that other countries had the opportunity to catch up with her and so increased competition and decreased demand led to the decline in employment in
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