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Did the Attlee government succeed or fail?

Success Failed
P: Fulfilled their manifesto of their implementation of P: Failed to open education for all
welfare reforms from cradle to the grave and attacked the E: The 11+ exam was only suitable for the brighter
five giants. students however, the other…

Page 2

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Achievements of the Attlee government 1945 ­ 51

Intro: Attlee faced many financial and economic difficulties throughout his Prime Minister ship some of which
were inherited, such as the debt incurred post war. However, the government achieved a relative degree of
activity and success.

P: Indian independence
E: This resulted…

Page 3

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Recovered from 1945 defeat and came back stronger

Churchill and Eden governments 1951 ­ 7

Churchill 1951 ­ 5

Rationing was ended
Positive on the conservatives behalf elevated the feeling of wartime austerity which Labour was
associated with and Tories previously

Denationalisation of iron and steel
Went down well with…

Page 4

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Supported Eden but did it secret so it didn't damage his image
Sharper political sense
Good public speaker
Liberal approach to legal and social issues
Homicide act 1957 ­ ended the death penalty
Tories were willing to modify traditional values

Economic policy 1957 ­ 64

Mixed economy (both nationalised…

Page 5

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1963 attempted to join EEC de Gaulle said `non' ­ France found Britain humiliating

Britain joined out of fear predominately (couldn't work alone)

Faults of the Conservatives:

Stop go policies no coherent economic policy
No structured financial strategy ­ used budgets and taxes for buying votes at election time

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Unsure of how far socialist they should become


Life is better with the Conservatives. Don't let Labour ruin it.

Tory ­ 13 million Labour ­ 12 million (prosperity under tories)

1963 ­ 4 Tories last year in government

Vassal affair 1963

Philby USSR spy 1963

Argyll divorce case ­…

Page 7

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Reasons for labours victory

Scandals tainted the Tories image 1963 ­ 4
Unemployment reached over 800,000 (Britain never had it so good ­ yeah right)
EEC rejection showed how weak Britain was internationally
Younger image of the Labour party
Wilson was much more impressing to the eye vs. Home

Page 8

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Party of devaluation ­ Attlee 1949
Callaghan stood down as Chancellor of the Exchequer
TU were angry Wilson tried to blame them over it
Number of days lost to strikes were increasing in 1951 1million days in 1970 10 million days

EEC 2nd application1967

Economic fears at home prompted another…

Page 9

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Open University 1969

Wilson claimed his greatest achievement

Divorce Act 1969

Irretrievable breakdown of relationship

All modernised Britain ­ Roy Jenkins work Home Sec 1965 ­ 57

James Callaghan continued on

Permissive age? ­ Social irresponsibility? Jenkins said no, civilised age

E.g. ­ Lady Chatterley's Lover

Criticisms of Wilson


Page 10

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Edward Heath 1970 ­ 74
Expansive policies

E.g. ­ `Reduce the rise in prices, increase productivity and reduce unemployment'
Selsdon man policy ­ pro market individual
Wilson said `you're on your own'

Industrial Relations Act 1971

Extension of in place of strife

No helping of `lame ducks'

Increased cuts in…


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