Social Policy 1950s - 1970s

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  • Social policy 1950s - 1970s
    • Social Class 1950s & 1960s
      • class divisions were weakened by the war
      • class was becoming less important and classes were began to shift and mingle together
      • the creation of the welfare state was an acknowledgement that the well-being of everyone was a matter of national concern
      • rising living standards
      • classes still existed and leaders were all from upper classes
      • welfare state created; spread of wealth and rise in living standards
      • spread of wealth across the population lead to increased affluence
        • financial credit and its increasing availability meant that more people could buy possessions; therefore ceased to show wealth
      • satire boom in 1950s
        • Private Eye
        • satire increased through 1960s and support for CND grew
        • TW3
    • 'Never had it so good'
      • Agree
        • wages rose ahead of prices; wages rose 6.5% 1948-1958. Adult male wage £8.65 - £18.75 1969
        • exported 29% more goods in late 1950s than in 1951
        • 10 million TV sets owned in 1960
        • unemployment never more than 2%
        • 1952-59 consumer expenditure rose by over 50%
        • Clean Air Act 1956; London & other cities - better health following the Great Smog 1952 that killed 12,000
        • greater availability of credit; consumer boom began; foreign holidays, cars, clothing, mod con
        • housing improved; 1951-54 300,000 per year; mortgages available - increased home ownership; 600,000+ built by 1951 and 1.7 million by 1964
      • Disagree
        • lack of genuine economic policy; stop-go economics and stagflation
        • education divides between grammar, comprehensive & technical
        • low GDP growth rate due to heavy defence expenditure (2.4% per annum)
        • high unemployment
        • inflation. tax cuts + increased consumer spending
    • 1960s Overall
      • increases in rates of STDs and five times more **** cases
      • Enoch Powell 'Rivers of Blood' Speech
        • London dockers went on strike to show support
        • Powell now outside political mainstream despite 74% population agreeing with his speech
        • caused a political storm - heath sacked him from shadow cabinet
        • his political career was over - tipped as future Cons. leader
        • mentor to young Thatcher - his economic ideas went on to influence her
      • as death penalty abolished, majority verdicts in criminal trials introduced making it easier to get convictions
      • surveys in 1965, 1969 & 1971 showed most young people not promiscuous- virgins or married to first & only sex partner
      • Mary Whitehouse
        • set up National Viewers' and Listeners' Association in 1965
          • quickly had over 100,000 members but had no impact on TV programmes shown
        • set up 'Clean Up TV' campaign in 1964
          • had lots of support and made 300 speeches a year
    • Social Reforms
      • Theatres Act 1968
      • Abortion Act 1967
      • Divorce Reform 1969
      • Sexual Offences Act 1967
      • Abolition of the Death Penalty 1969
      • Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968
      • Race Relations Acts 1965 & 1968
    • Drugs
      • Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1964 - amphetamines
      • Dangerous Drugs Act 1967 - heroin, cocaine & cannabis
      • Rates of drug addiction in the UK rising faster than anywhere worldwide
    • Ending National Service
      • young men no longer so regimented
        • hair length grew - socially rebellious statement
      • older forms of authority eg church or school were no longer influential in society
    • Censorship
      • 1959 Obscene Publications Act
      • 1960 Trail of Lady Chattery's Lover
    • Conservationism
      • the post-war optimistic belief that technology & modernisation was the answer to everything was now seriously questioned
        • economic growth for its own sake now being questioned
      • a growing conservation movement wanted to preserve old buildings, towns, museums, monuments, beautiful countryside & even traditional beer
      • after the 1960s there was a backlash against modern architecture, tower blocks & motorways
    • Environment
      • environmental movement was created to stop pollution, nuclear power, whaling & other harmful industries
        • also a rejection of western values of consumer society
          • consumerism as a way of life seen as unsustainable for the planet & morally wrong when there was still so much global poverty
      • Also a realisation that the Earth's resources (esp. oil) were finite & being used too quickly
      • Greenpeace began in the early 1970s  to stop nuclear testing in the Pacific. it grew into a major ecological pressure group of the 1970s & 1980s
      • prices of basic goods eg food & fuel fell leaving people with excess income for luxury spending on cars, holidays, homes & consumer items
      • prosperity, wages & living standards all improved dramatically across Western world inc. UK
      • pollution & waste were becoming major concerns
      • by the 1970s there was growing awareness of how industry was harming the environment
      • mass consumerism spread to all levels of society as wages out-stripped prices
      • 1950-1973 often described as the 'long boom'
    • Technology
      • fibre-optic cable
      • hovercraft
      • E-Type Jaguar
      • V-Style Harrier junk-jet
      • ATMs introduced
      • Mini created 1959

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