Modern Britain: positives and negatives of governments

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  • Modern Britain: positives and negatives of governments
    • Churchill (1951-55)
      • Positive
        • Strengths at 1951 election
        • Continued Keynesian policies and post-war consensus
        • Denationalisa-tion of steel industry
        • Built 300,000 homes per year (Macmillan as housing minister)
        • Economic
          • Men's wages going up
          • Massive increases in private savings
          • Boom in car and home ownership, as well as easy access to cheap mortgages
          • Farmers did well economically
          • New towns
          • Increased consumerism (TVs, mod cons, etc. bought on hire purchase)
          • 1954: Ended rationing
          • 1954: Mining and Quarries Act
      • Negative
        • Better wartime PM than in peacetime
        • He was old and frail, so wasn't able to be as actively involved in gov.
        • Economic problems
          • Huge wartime debt and defence commitments
          • Balance of payments deficit
        • Pro-war attitude - harsh handling of Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya and Malaya Emergency
        • Controversial decision to keep Gaitskell's prescription charges
    • Eden (1955-57)
      • Positive
        • More PM than Churchill 1951-55
        • Younger and good at getting people to like him
        • Progressive ideas in domestic affairs
        • Believed in property owning democracy and industrial partnership
        • Reputation as man of principle and shrewd political calculation, esp. with foreign affairs
      • Negative
        • Suez Crisis
        • Frail health
        • Short-tempered
        • Didn't care for domestic politics
    • Macmillan (1957-63)
      • Positive
        • V good at using media and appeared in control
        • Continued special relationship and had good relationship with Eisenhower, helping Britain keep some of its great power status
        • Butler as Home Secretary: Liberal approach to social affairs
          • 1957: Homicide Act (end of death penalty)
          • 1957: Wolfenden Commission (legalised homosexuali-ty)
        • 1956: Clean Air Act
        • Housing and Factory Acts improved living and working conditions
        • Education
          • Comprehens-ive school system
          • Expansion of higher education
        • Economic
          • Age of Affluence
          • Increased consumerism and personal wealth
          • Wages rose and inflation stayed low
          • Post-war boom
          • Strong economic growth
          • Housing policy
          • 1957: Rent Act
          • Gov provided health and other services
        • More of society could buy more goods
        • Decolonisa-tion was a success and had very little impact at home
        • Social mobility
          • Weakened class divisions
          • Position of women progressed
          • Beginning of multicultural society
      • Negative
        • Economy
          • Although economy did grow fast, some of Macmillan's policies led to stop-go economics and inflation
          • Macro-economic policy -> British economy declined in comparison to others
          • Balance of payments deficit due to give-away budgets
          • Big cuts to rail network
          • Unemploym-ent increased
        • Attempts to join EEC failed and EFTA didn't match up
        • Unresolved foreign policy isssues
        • 1963: Vassal Inquiry
        • Kim Philby (spy)
        • Argyll Divorce case
        • 1963: Profumo Affair
        • Night of the Long Knives
        • Dependent on US for nukes
        • Decolonisa-tion caused Britain to lose some of great power status
        • Ongoing racism, inc. in some youth sub-cultures
    • Home (1963-64)
      • Positive
        • Did better than expected
      • Negative
        • Criticism of election (reinforced 'Establishm-ent')
    • Wilson (1964-70)
      • Positive
        • Kept British troops out of Vietnam War while keeping good relations with US
        • More youthful and a better campaigner
        • United left and right with aim of technological modernisation
        • Economic
          • Jenkins achieved stability
          • More personal wealth and mod cons
        • Society
          • End of capital punishment
          • Divorce reform
          • Legalisation of abortion
          • Legalisation of homosexua-lity
          • Improved race relations
          • More free time -> leisure activities
          • Improved gender equality
          • Reduction in censorship
          • 1967: Dangerous Drugs Act
        • Educational reform: expansion of higher edu and Open Uni
        • Scientific developments
      • Negative
        • Economic
          • 1964: National Plan
          • 1967: Devaluation
          • Rising unemploy-ment
          • Growing inflation
          • Wage controls
        • Bad relations with TUs
        • 1967: rejected from EEC
        • Criticised for spending too much time keeping party united
        • 'Troubles'
        • Powell's 'rivers of blood' speech was unpopular
        • Immigration controls
        • Retention of nukes
        • Subservience to US in foreign policy
        • Not enough change
        • Some didn't like the 'permissive society'
        • Increased independence from younger age -> increased rebellion?
        • Opposition to Vietnam
        • Still some racism
        • Divisions over Europe
        • Decolonisa-tion showed that Britain was no longer world power
        • Rhodesia showed Wilson's imputence and inability to deal with foreign affairs
    • Heath (1970-76)
      • Positive
        • Clear about his aims
        • Not part of 'Establish-ment'
        • 1973: Entry into EEC
      • Negative
        • Not very good with people
        • Economic
          • Barber's policies affected poorer workers
          • Abandoned mixed economy
          • Weakened Welfare State
          • Undermined full employment
          • Put economics before social improvement
          • U-turn
        • 1973: Oil Crisis
          • Balance of payments crisis
          • Rise in inflation and unemploy-ment ('stagflation')
          • Value of sterling dropped
          • Interest rate raised
          • Record budget deficit
        • Bad relations with TUs
        • 1972 & 4: Miners' Strike and three-day week
        • Lost 'Who governs Britain?' election
        • 'Troubles'
        • Conditions of EEC entry weren't favourable
    • Wilson (1974-76)
      • Positive
        • Better relations with TUs
        • Kept Labour party united
        • 1975: navigated referendum on Britain staying in EEC well -> 'yes'
        • Permissive soiety
      • Negative
        • Economy
          • Inherited bad economy
          • Controversy over nationalisa-tion of industries
        • Minority government
        • Health concerns
        • Social contract
    • Callaghan (1976-79)
      • Positive
        • Much ministerial experience
        • Good links with TUs
        • Permissive society
        • Economic improvement
          • Unemploy-ment stabilised
          • Inflation fell
          • No of strikes fell
          • Positive balance of payments
          • Cut public spending to help end post-war consensus
      • Negative
        • Economy
          • Inherited bad economy
          • 1976: IMF crisis -> industrial unrest
          • Rising unemploy-ment
        • Winter of discontent -> looked like he didn't care
        • Divisions in party
        • Continued strikes and aggression from TUs
        • Failure of devolution -> Scottish Nationalists didn't support Labour anymore
        • 1979: vote of no confidence
    • Thatcher (1979-90)
      • Positive
        • Economic
          • At start, budgets gave people new kind of economic policy
          • GDP increased by 1983
          • Inflation decreased by 1983
          • Refused to make a U-turn
          • Falklands War didn't raise taxes and she linked war to tough economic reforms
          • Tax cuts after last two budgets
        • Some liked her tough and unchanging manner
        • 'Right to Buy'
        • 1982: Falklands War victory -> restored national pride and confidence in her and 'limited war'
        • 'Looney Left' and Labour split increased her popularity in comparison
        • Good at campaigning
        • 1984: crushed Miners' Strike -> could close industries that weren't profiting country and reduce power of TUs
      • Negative
        • Divisions in party
        • Economic
          • 1979 budget initially led to rise in inflation
          • Unemploy-ment grew by 1983
          • Extreme cuts in public spending were unpopular with some
        • Country and party were very divided over her
        • Riots bc of local conditions and increased unemploy-ment
        • Some didn't like her tough and unchanging manner
        • Bad relations with TUs and miners
        • Struggled with supporting 'lame-duck' industries
        • 1984: Miners' Strike made her look unfeeling to some people

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