Why Was There Almost No Violence In White Australi Essay

1620 WordsJun 30, 20117 Pages
Why was there almost no violence in white Australia in the 1930s, despite the ravages of depression? Australia during the great depression experienced a unique hardship the country had never seen before. A nation far from industrialized this period was the darkest in Australian history certainly from an economic perspective. The rise of the United Australia Party lead by Joseph Lyons echoed the sentiments of the average Australians loyalty and underlying dependence to the British Empire. It was this connection to its British ancestor that was one of several factors that meant Australia somehow survived the great depression without much wide scale protest or violence spilling into the streets. If it weren’t for Lyons conservative values and steadying leadership during these difficult times the masses could have reacted in an entirely different way. In the early 1930’s Australia was a bleak place to be and what was once deemed the “lucky country” was rapidly becoming the land of limited opportunity. Unemployment rose from 9.3% in 1929 to a peak of 30% in 1932 . Household spending power was in decline and the standard of living fell accordingly. Malnutrition was not uncommon across those families affected by unemployment. Newspapers captured these tough conditions often painting a very simple picture of how desperate some people had become, one Labor Daily’s Cartoon suggesting it was a luxury to eat. “Well, things are brightening up. Last week I only got enough o’ this for the dog; this week there’s enough for me to!” The Australian dollar was weakening against the sterling leading to a loss of revenue for exports such as wool and wheat. Australia was a developing economy years away from being properly industrialized and as a result had developed a heavy reliance on foreign investment from the British to support growth. Australia had accrued substantial

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