Leaving Cert History Jarrow March Essay

Dictatorship and Democracy: Case Study 3: The Jarrow March

Leaving Cert > Dictatorship and Democracy in EuropeCase Study 3: The Jarrow March

Some of the people who marched from Jarrow to London in October 1936.
Just as it was in the 1920s, the world economy is today undergoing problems. If you've seen the news over the past few years, you've more than once probably seen people protesting either outside Government Buildings in Dublin or Downing Street in London, or you might be more familiar with the Occupy movement which sprung up in various cities in 2011. Demonstrations like these are not new. Back in 1936, thousands of people from the northern English town of Jarrow signed a petition and took part in a march from their town to London to demand government assistance for their depressed area.

  • Jarrow:
    • Where was it? What did it suffer from? What were its problems?
  • Petition:
    • Jarrow Borough Council, Ellen Wilkinson MP.
    • Petition requesting the government to provide industry to the town.
    • Signed by 11,000 people. 200 men selected to march.
  • The Jarrow Crusade:
    • Why was it called a Crusade?
    • Mouth organ band, transport van, town halls.
    • Wilkinson at the Labour Party Conference.
  • London:
    • The government's response.
    • The shock waiting for the marchers when they got home.
    • Jarrow after World War II: the Welfare State (march's contribution)

Higher Level (100 marks each)

2011: What did one or more of the following achieve in Britain during the period 1920 - 1945:
             J.M. Keynes, those who took part in the Jarrow March, Winston Churchill?

2007: What were the causes and consequences of the Jarrow March, October, 1936?

Ordinary Level
2015, Dictatorship and Democracy, Part C
2012, Dictatorship and Democracy, Part C:
Why did the Jarrow March (October, 1936) take place and what did it achieve? (40)

2010, Dictatorship and Democracy, Part C:
Why did the Jarrow March take place, October 1936, and what did it achieve? (40)

2008, Dictatorship and Democracy, Part C:
What were the economic and social conditions in Britain that led to the Jarrow March in October 1936? (40)

2006, Dictatorship and Democracy, Part C:
How did the Jarrow March reflect the social and economic problems of industrial England in the 1930s? (40) 

Ellen Wilkinson MP
The Jarrow March (YouTube)
A brief YouTube video showing original footage of the march, the petition being read out, and the official response of the government.

The Guardian: With the Jarrow Marchers
The original Guardian story from 1936 reporting as the Jarrow marchers reached Harrogate, roughly a third of the way to London.

Re-enactment of Jarrow March fizzles out after just a quarter of the journey (The Telegraph)
2011 was the 75th anniversary of the march, but a commemorative anniversary march did not go so well...

Farewell to last Jarrow marcher (BBC News)
The last surviving member of the Jarrow March, Cornelius Whalen, died in 2003 aged 93.

BBC History: The Jarrow March
The BBC's overview of the march and the circumstances that caused it.

Ellen Wilkinson
A biography of the Labour MP for Jarrow.

Britain During the Inter-War Years

The Guardian - The 1930s were humanity's darkest,
bloodiest hour. Are you paying attention?

​Rogers History -The policies of the National Government

Case Study: The Jarrow March, October 1936

In October 1936, a group of men from the north-eastern town of Jarrow marched 300 miles to London. Bearing blue and white banners, the Jarrow men paraded at 8.45am each day of the march and many marched army style - 50 minutes to the hour with 10 minutes' rest. They wanted Parliament, and people in the south of England, to understand that they were decent, orderly, responsible citizens, but were living in a region where there were great difficulties and 70% unemployment. The marchers made no assault on the House of Commons, leaving their MP Ellen 'Red' Wilkinson to present their petition watched by some protesters in the gallery. At the time of the march Britain was ruled by the coalition National Government which was predominantly Conservative and, despite the petition, no proposal was made for Jarrow's relief. However, another war was on its way and when it came Jarrow's industry recovered as a result of the engineering and steelworks needed for World War Two armaments.

​PDST -The Jarrow March

History Extra Podcast -The Jarrow March

​The Jarrow Crusade 1936

Jarrow - The town that was murdered!

Miss Stout's History Class

Jarrow March

The Crusaders

Rogers History -Jarrow Crusade

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