British Political History 1945-90

A Timeline of most of the key dates and important events between 1945-90 in British Political History.

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Consensus & Conflict British Political History 1945-90
1942 - Beveridge Report - to ensure that the `five evil giants' of want (poverty), disease, ignorance
. (Under education), squalor (poor housing) and idleness (unemployment) should be banished
. from these shores. The Welfare State.
1944 - The Education Act - also known as the Butler Act ­ provided compulsory free education.
. After selection by exam aged 11, children were sent to either a grammar of technical school.
1945 - General Election: Labour Win - Clement Attlee
. Britain signs agreement with USA for post-war reconstruction.
. The Family Allowances Act - provided weekly payments for every child after the first.
Money . was paid directly to the mother.
1946 - Bank of England Nationalised.
. Coal Nationalisation Bill.
. National Health Service Bill. (NHS)
1947 - India is granted independence.
1948 - Railways and Transport Nationalised. .
Welfare State: .
The National Insurance Act ­ created universal and compulsory payments by the
. employer, employee and government, out of which payments would be made in times of
. sickness, unemployment, maternity expenses, widowhood and retirement.
. The Industrial Injuries Act ­ provided cover for accidents that happened at work.
. The National Health Service Act ­ brought the whole population into a scheme of free
. medical and hospital treatment. Prescriptions, glasses and dentistry were included.
. The National Assistance Act ­ set up boards to deal with hardship and poverty.
. The Marshall Plan
1949 - Devaluation of Sterling from $4.03 to $2.80.
. Iron Steel Bill passed, nationalisation delayed until after the general election.
1950 - General Election: Labour Win (by a majority of 5) - Clement Attlee
1951 - Iron and Steel Nationalised. .
Prescription charges introduced - Bevin resigns in protest.
. General Election: Conservatives Win - Winston Churchill
1953 - Denationalisation of road haulage, iron and steel industries.
1955 - General Election: Conservatives Win - Sir Anthony Eden
. Attlee succeeded by Gaitskell as leader of the Labour Party.
1956 - Suez Crisis - canal nationalised. British Troops sent to Egypt and withdrawn again.
1957 - Eden resigns Macmillan becomes PM.
. Treaty of Rome created the beginnings of the EEC to foster closer economic relationships and
. hopefully ensure peace in Europe.
1958 - Peter Thorneycroft - Chancellor of the Exchequer - resigns over government economic policy.

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Consensus & Conflict British Political History 1945-90
1959 - General Election: Conservatives Win - Harold Macmillan
. "Most of our people have never had it so good."
1960 - Gaitskell's attempt to abandon clause IV defeated by Labour NEC.
1961 - Britain's attempt to join the EEC opposed by French president, Charles De Gaulle.
1962 - `Night of the long knives' - Macmillan sacks seven ministers in an attempt to revive flagging
. popularity.
1963 - Harold Wilson made Labour leader after Gaitskell's death.
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Consensus & Conflict British Political History 1945-90
1971 - Rolls Royce nationalised.
. 1.5 million Workers go on strike in opposition to the industrial relations bill.
. Industrial Relations Act -extension of Labours plan `In Place of Strife' limits Unions freedom
. of action and ability to call strikes.
1972 - NUM Strike.
. NUM strike called off after receiving pay claim.
. Pay and Prices freeze announced.
1973 - Britain joins the EEC (European Community).
. New prices and incomes policy introduced.
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Consensus & Conflict British Political History 1945-90
. Unemployment reaches 2.8 million.
. Employment Acts
1981 - Social Democratic Party set up.
. Alliance between SPD and Liberal Party.
. Riots in Liverpool and Manchester.
. Worst economic downturn since 1930's
. Take out an extra £4 billion from the economy in taxes.
1982 - Argentina invades Falklands Islands.
. Employment Acts:
1983 - Inflation down to 3.7% the lowest for 10 years.
. General Election: Conservative Win - Margaret Thatcher
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