British Society

Compiled notes, relating to British Society. :)

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How far did British Society change between 1939 and the mid1970s

How far was Britain a multicultural society in 1939?

The main immigrant group in Britain in 1939 was Jews, who lived predominantly in
London and other big cities, such as Leeds.

Some immigrant Jews had been living in Britain…

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Britain has also attracted what are now called economic immigrants.

People from the Commonwealth have come to Britain because of trade links, or because
they see it as the mother country.

Why did large numbers of immigrants begin to arrive in Britain from the
Commonwealth 1948 onwards?

During the Second…

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At work immigrants often found that they were only offered the lowestpaid and most
unskilled jobs.

When they applied for promotion, they often found that they were blocked, no matter how
wellqualified they were.

Frequently increases in crime or disease were blamed on them and they were often
barred from…

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After the 1959 general election, which resulted in a large Conservative majority, MPs from
Birmingham began to campaign for changes in the law.

They were supported by many local groups and in 1962 the government passed the
Commonwealth Immigrants Act.

How did government policies on immigration change in the 1960s?…

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This created a new class of immigrants called `Patrials'. These were people who had
been born in Britain, or who had lived in Britain for more than five years, or whose parents
or grandparents had been born in Britain.

Anyone else, whether they came from the Commonwealth or not, needed…

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This Act also set up a Community Relations Commission to try to improve race relations.

In 1976 the Racial Equality Act banned all attempts to discriminate by indirect means.
Abusive or threatening language became illegal.

Anyone who felt that they had been the victim of such discrimination could take their…

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By 1976 there were more than 2,000 Indian restaurants in Britain and by the end of the
twentieth century that figure had increased fivefold.

Supermarkets now stock many varieties of Asian foods.

The Beatles used the sitar in some of their records and this led to musicians becoming
involved in…

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Some Asians increasingly make it clear that they would prefer not to be integrated into
British society.

A Muslim Parliament was set up in London in the 1990s and an increasing number of
single faith schools are appearing.

Women who attempt to give up their culture can sometimes be persecuted.…

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At the beginning of the war all women were classified as `mobile' or `immobile'. Mobile
meant that they were capable of joining the armed forces or of undertaking full time war
work. Immobile meant that they were housewives looking after children or elderly relatives.

Nevertheless, despite the rather vague attitude…

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In the armed forces women began to play a more and more important role. By 1943 there
were 443,000 women in the forces.

They operated searchlights and barrage balloons and served in antiaircraft batteries.

In the navy they overhauled torpedoes and depth charges and repaired ships. As well as


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