What can you learn from source A about Jarrow in the early 1930s

Topic: Minimum Wage
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Last updated: November 8, 2019

From looking at source A I can learn that Jarrow is a poor area. Source A is a description of Jarrow written in the early 1930’s. The depression hit Britain very hard as by 1932 there were 3,000,000 people out of work in Britain. This is around the time that the description of Jarrow was written.It says that: ”there was no prospect of a job and the streets were becoming dilapidated”. This is hinting that Jarrow was becoming run down. You can tell that Jarrow was badly affected from the depression.

The author said that he was unemployed from 1922 until 1929, where he became a Jarrow councilor. This means that he was unemployed for seven years. In those seven years he would not have received an unemployment benefit as this ended in the early 1930’s.

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If it was 1922 then the author of this description of Jarrow would have received an unemployment benefit. Unfortunately when Britain borrowed money from America they had to cut unemployment benefit.Palmer’s shipyard in Jarrow had been Jarrow’s major source of employment, and the closure compounded the problems of poverty. This means that many people may have been unemployed and have no source of income.This source is useful as it gives a description of the town from someone who was there at the time. It is very one-sided as he only saw the negative points that were happening. The source tells us that people were suffering due to a lack of food by saying ”Often my wife and I went without a meal on Sunday in order to feed the children”. From this I can see that this person was very poor and the depression has affected this person’s area very hard.

This shows that even with the unemployment benefit they do not even have the money to feed all of their family. There was obviously not enough money to buy food.Source A tells us that they had no money and the effects of the depression came crashing down on them by saying, ”Then in 1931 everything went bankrupt”. This is implying that he does not know why everything went bankrupt, and it is suggesting that it was sudden.

Everything went bankrupt because on October 24th 1929 the market went down and within a year 2.5 million people had lost their jobs.This source is not useful as reading the description of Jarrow I do not know who wrote it. It could be biased as we do not know why this was written.The source tells me that many people had to suffer from the lack of money and food by saying ”And we in Jarrow had to suffer from it”.

This person is implying that he and many others suffered from this.He says ”I returned home to Jarrow in 1921” he does not say where he has been and we do not know why he came back. He could have come back from WWI.The source tells me that the lack of money meant that they suffered in many ways as it says ”we patched up all our clothes as did all the others”.

This hints that there were many others in the same state as this person. The people in this town could obviously not afford to buy new clothes so when there clothes ripped they had to patch it up again and again. This shows that there was poverty in Jarrow. They clearly had a hard time and not enough money.From looking at the sentence ”in the town 156 shops were closed or empty” I learn that the people who owned shops could not afford to keep it running as they had no customers because their customers couldn’t afford to buy anything.

Overall I can learn that Jarrow in the early 1930’s was extremely poor as everything went bankrupt due to the depression because this was written at about the same time as when the depression hit Britain. I can see that no-one had any money to buy food and clothes; this suggests that many, like the person who wrote the description, were unemployed. The people in Jarrow suffered in many ways because nobody had any money. If they had no money then they could not buy essentials like food.

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