British Political history 1945-90: consensus and conflict edexcel as- the atlee gov

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Preview of British Political history 1945-90: consensus and conflict edexcel as- the atlee gov

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The Atlee government's achievements Labour
Welfare State ­ based on Beveridge Report to eliminate 5 giants ­ want,
disease, idleness, squalor, ignorance ­ offered "protection from cradle to
grave" with no means test
National Insurance Act
Industrial Injuries Act
Education Act ­ free compulsory education
Family Allowances Act ­ 5 shillings a week for each child after the first
"comprehensive and available to every citizen", "give security to all members
of them family" ­ Attlee
Beveridge ­ built on what was already there e.g. free milk schemes in
schools ­ 1911 National Insurance Act only for workers on very low
NHS ­ opposition from BMA ­ feared reduced pay, loss of independence,
didn't want to be mere gvt "salaried civil servants", saw it as nationalisation,
disliked Bevan's character ­ only 10% supported its introduction ­ Bevan
had to stuff "their mouths with gold" ­ there were compromises ­ private
practices/hospitals to continue, reserved "pay beds" for private patients
delayed introduction to 1948 instead of 1947
Problems ­ bureaucracy, "dandruff syndrome", 1951 prescription
charges led Bevan and some other ministers to reign on principle
Significance ­ solved on of 5 giants, largest single employer in Europe by
1980s, total consensus on it
Weakness ­ opposition, other priorities like housing with 2 million homes
having been destroyed, prescription charges
Nationalisation ­ 20% of industry nationalised on manifesto Lets Face the
Future in Clause Four ­ "common ownership"
Coal, 1946­ unproductive, in debt
Transport and electricity, 1947
Gas, 1948
Little opposition from conservatives except for iron and steel ­
profitable, good employeremployee relations, recent investments ­ boosted
con morale, gave them rallying ground
Iron and steel only listed for nationalisation as imposed on unwilling
Labour leaders in 1944 party conference
Pushed through in 1950 due to Parliamentary Reform Act, 1949

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Economic ­ adopted Keynesianism ­ employment is priority golden circle
of employment
£4198 million debt
Manufacturing exports dropped by 60% in wartime Invisible exports had
Dalton negotiated loan of $6000 from USA ­ but dollar was too strong
and Britain suffered from "dollar gap" ­ drained much of the loan and made
repayments harder
Military commitments abroad quintupled between 1938 and 1946 ­
agreed with USA to increase defence from £2.3 to £4.…read more


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