Australia and the Depression

The 1920s was a time of great prosperity for Australia. Entertainment popularity had increased with musical theatre, opera and stage comedies drawing large audiences. Transport boomed with increasing numbers in car owners and the introduction of commercial aviation in the early 1920s. The Australian Government borrowed heavily from overseas for investments during this opulent period. By the late 1920s there was a significant decline in the volume of international trade . The American stock market crash in October 1929 accelerated a decline in prices for farm commodities in Australia. Due to both international as well as internal factors, Australia was now drawn into the depression along with the rest of the world. As a result of this, the economy suffered greatly and Australia could not pay back the millions of dollars worth of loans borrowed during the 1920s boom. Effects of the depression would lead to the unemployed and unskilled in society carrying the strain of the depression. Social divisions would widen as the depression took a greater toll on the working class.
Australia borrowed heavily from overseas during World War I in order to finance the war effort. They owed large sums of money through investments and loans.
The Bruce Page Government, headed by Prime Minister Bruce, brought in the policy of "Men, money, markets" to attempt to solve the economic problems that faced the world. The idea was to increase Australia's population and bring investment to the country. In order to do so, immigration schemes were introduced. Australia provided assisted migration to immigrants as an incentive for them to come to Australia. Many migrants that came to Australia to increase the workforce did not know how to farm. Australia borrowed money from Britain to pay interest loans from World War I, fund public works and development projects and to pay pensions. Borrowing the money from England meant that export prices decreas…


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