The effects of the Depression upon the people of Jarrow

First looking at source D which is part of a report from the Jarrow Public Health Committee and was published in 1933. At this time something called the “Means Test” was in place, the means test was where if taxes could not be paid then pieces of furniture or in fact any possessions could be taken off you in order to pay this. You would have had someone look around your house to see if anything could be used to pay off your debt, for example, if their were 4 people living in a flat and that family had 6 chairs, 2 of these would be taken to be sold to help with the payments.

The report describes a very run-down and dingy house, the origin of the source is clear (It is a Jarrow Health Committee report therefore it would probably have been reliable), the purpose of this report was probably because every time a health check was carried out a report would have had to been published to show what was found. I think this source is useful to show the effects of the depression upon the people of Jarrow because it shows us exactly what this family lived like and it was not a very pleasant description.

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For example, “There is a broken sofa, a wooden table, two old plain chairs and a cot.. A family of seven lives here. ” this shows me that the house would have been crowded and was maybe struggling with money as their sofa was broken and there didn’t seen to be enough furniture for a family of seven. But we do not know for sure that everyone’s house was in this state in Jarrow but other than this I think by looking into the nature, origin and purpose of the source I think it is reliable and helps to show me the effects of the depression as it shows me the living conditions of a certain family.

Therefore from source D I can gather that the effects were that it forced some people to live in unsanitary conditions and that money was a struggle especially for big families. Source D is not useful in the way that we do not know if this was the condition of every house in Jarrow at that time or whether this house was just one example of bad living conditions. The report may just have been published to show the state of this certain house but we do not know this for certain.

There is no evidence to show us whether or not this was a case which didn’t happen often so therefore we cannot gather any more information on the effects of the depression from this. Next looking at Source E to see what effects it shows us about the effect of the depression on the people of Jarrow. The source is a table of death rates and infant mortality rates in Jarrow and national averages and it was published by the Jarrow Public Health Committee but the year in which it was published in is unknown.

Just by taking a quick glance at the figures you can instantly see that Jarrow’s death rates are significantly higher than the national averages. First looking at the death rates comparing Jarrow with the national average, in 1919 the national average was 13 per 1000 but Jarrow’s was 20 per 1000, in 1931 the national average was every 10 in 1000 and Jarrow’s was again higher at 15 deaths per 1000 and lastly in 1936 the national average was 9 per 1000 and in Jarrow it was 15 per 1000 people.

The decrease in the national average was probably due to the better research into medicine and how that had evolved but as you can see from 1931 to 1936 Jarrow’s death rate did not change therefore I can draw from this that their evolution in medicine was not as fast as the rest of the country. I can gather from these figures that the effects of the depression on the people of Jarrow meant that the health of the people wasn’t a major priority and that maybe the living conditions weren’t very good, this links source D to this source as Source D shows bad living conditions which could be the reason that death rates were higher.

And also by looking at the infant mortality rates Jarrow was significantly higher. Therefore from Source E I can gather that the effects of the depression meant that the health of the people of Jarrow was suffering and that maybe the effects weren’t positive. Source E is not reliable in the way that we do not know when they were published therefore we do not know if they were published at the time or a long time afterwards.

In this case we do not know the purpose of the source – it may have been after the time it happened to show how much they had improved or it could have been published at the time to show that they needed to do something about the depression as it was affecting the people of Jarrow. Therefore I think source E shows us that during the depression Jarrow suffered with health and this led to more deaths and an increase in infant mortality.

To conclude this question I think that Source D shows us that there was bad living conditions for one particular family in Jarrow at the time of the depression but it was not helpful in showing us if this affected the whole of Jarrow because we do not know how many families were affected. Source E is useful in showing us that there was poor health and higher death rates in Jarrow at the time of the depression. Overall I can gather from this source that the effects of the depression on the people of Jarrow was not a positive one.

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