Clydebank in the inter-war years : a study in economic and social change
The main theme of this thesis is the social, economic and political response of a single community to economic dislocation in the interwar years. The community under consideration is Clydebank., The thesis is divided into several parts. Part I establishes the development of the burgh and considers the physical framework of the community, mainly in the years before 1919. The town's characteristics are examined in terms of population structure and development between the world wars. In the last part of this section there is a review of the economic structure of the burgh and changes occurring in it between 1919 and 1939. In Part II consideration is given to the actual extent and form of the unemployment affecting Clydebank at this time, and comparison is made with other communities and geographic/economic areas. Attention is then focussed more narrowly on the actual individuals suffering unemployment in the burgh during the 1930s, in an attempt to personalise the experience of the unemployed. Part III reviews central and local government responses to the situation in which Clydebank found itself oetween 1919 and 1939. Central government policies discussed include unemployment insurance, public works, the Special Areas legislation, assistance in the construction of the 534 "Queen Mary" and the direction of financial support to areas of particular need. Amongst local authority actions described are additional local support for the poor, public works, efforts to attract new industry to the town, attempts to deal with the housing problem which was particularly acute at times of high unemployment and measures to maintain health standards in the community. In Part IV the responses of the community to unemployment and government policies are detailed. The burgh's commercial sector is surveyed as are developments in leisure provision, religion, temperance and crime, and local politics. A number of individual responses are also given consideration such as migration, commuting, changes in birth and marriage rates and suicide.