GCSE Edexcel option 3B: War and the transformation of British society, c1931-51

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Preview of GCSE Edexcel option 3B: War and the transformation of British society, c1931-51

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HISTORY
KEY TOPIC 1: THE IMPACT OF THE DEPRESSION.
End of WW1 ­ only financial aid for unemployed was NATIONAL INSURANCE BENEFIT set up in 1911
For those in UNSTEADY WORK.
Workers and unemployed paid into an UNEMPLOYEMENT FUND, so that if work dried up,
they the fund would pay benefit for up to 15 weeks.
The `dole' (Out-of Work Donation Scheme) was set up in Nov. 1918.
It paid a small amount of benefit.
It was for those soldiers and returning war workers who could not find employment.
Most workers, and therefore most of the unemployed were men ­ with families to
support.
Economy was suffering, but depression made it worse:
1929: 1.5 million unemployed.
1930: 2.4 million
The depressions effect was REGIONAL
New industry:
car makers
BUT these were mainly based in the south and west.
Protests:
The unemployed and workers in badly affected industries protested in different ways.
PETITIONS and LETTERS were sent to the Gov. Asking for work.
`HUNGER MARCHES' to London were organized regularly.
The NUWM (National Unemployed Workers Movement)
Set up in 1921 and mainly organized the marches.
The high unemployment in:
COAL,
IRON AND STEEL,
COTTON AND
SHIP BUILDING
Industries in the NORTH and EAST OF ENGLAND and in SCOTLAND and WALES.
1932: 34.5% miner's unemployed 62% shipbuilders unemployed.

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HISTORY
UNEMPLOYMENT WAS NOT SPREAD EVENLY
1932 ­ 37: 80% of all new factories built were in LONDON or nearby.
Usually new industries e.g. CAR BUILDING. MAINLY RAN ON ELECTRICITY, *not coal* so this DID NOT
HELP THE COAL INDUSTRY either.
They kept the employment in London and southeast up. IF YOU LIVED IN THE RIGHT PART ON THE
COUNTRY AND WORKED IN THE RIGHT INDUSTRY, THE DEPRESSION COULD PASS YOU BY.
1929: LABOUR CAME TO POWER.…read more

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HISTORY
1937: SPECIAL AREAS (AMENDMENT) ACT: gave tax cuts and low rent and rates to
business that moved into these areas.
RISING EMPLOYMENT = each person got LESS benefit but Gov. was still PAYING OUT MORE
Money from special areas act was TOO LITTLE and TOO POORLY DISTRIBUTED
Some places improved dramatically, others not at all.
Some local employment offices gave benefit away MUCH MORE FREELY THAN OTHERS.…read more

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HISTORY
BUT there was TOO LITTLE MONEY ALLOWED in the special areas act.
1936: regular debates in parliament about the need for more funding and the problems
of deciding where and how the money was to be raised and spent and how
industries could be encouraged to move into these areas.
1936: parliament discussed the towns and cities where they gave work `as far as
circumstances permitted'.…read more

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HISTORY
Sometimes they slept in halls, schools or churches, at other times they slept in the workhouse
­ the last resort of the poor.
THE IMPACT:
Gov. Reaction:
The crusade reached London on Saturday 31st October. Stanley Baldwin REFUSED TO SEE
Ellen Wilkinson and accept the petition.
The cabinet (the most senior member of the government) had issued a statement
disapproving all marches `whatever their particular purpose'
The Gov.…read more

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HISTORY
Key Topic 2: Britain alone
GOING TO WAR
1st September 1939 ­ Germany invaded POLAND.
Britain and France tried to avoid war by APPEASEMENT (accepting that GERMANY HAD BROKEN
THE T.OF.V. TERMS) and by accepting its invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Germany invaded Poland = APPEASEMENT NOT WORKING = Britain and France declared
war on Germany
3rd September 1939 ­ Britain and France declared war on Germany
28th September 1939 ­ Poland surrendered.
Britain expected Germany to invaded France over the FRENCH­GERMAN BORDER.…read more

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HISTORY
German troops moved in and occupied the area, under the cover of artillery fire
The planes and tanks moved onto the next target, leaving the troops to occupy the
captured area and put down all resistance.
This was risky, but it gave the troops in the countries under attack LITTLE TIME TO PREPARE for
invasion. It was unexpected, terrifying and VERY effective.
Belgian, British and the French troops were thrown into confusion.…read more

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HISTORY
OPERATION DYNAMO began on 26th may
Gov. Asked owners of SMALL BOATS TO FERRY SOLDIERS to the big ships
By May 29th, about 300 boats were doing this. The big boats were shuttled from Dunkirk to
Britain until 4th June
About 20,000 ­ 30,000 troops were estimated, the final total was 338,000 ­ a large part of
the BEF and many Allied troops as well.…read more

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HISTORY
WHY DID BRITAIN WIN????
July 1940 ­ RAF had 640 fighter planes. The German Luftwaffe had 2600 bombers and
fighter planes within striking distance of Britain, in occupied Europe.
= BRITAIN HAD LESS PLANES
The Germans were cocky and thought that the RAF would soon be wiped out, but the RAF
had some advantages:
1) A radar system- invented in 1935 and installed all along the south and east coasts of
Britain at the start of the war.…read more

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HISTORY
PREPARING FOR INVASION:
14th may 1940 ­ the WAR MINISTER, Anthony Eden, asked for volunteers for a LOCAL
DEFENCE FORCE (LDF).
There were 250,000 volunteers on the first day.
August: LDF had about 1 million members and was renamed the Home Guard.
It took up to early 1941 to give all members equipment and uniform.
They began training straight away.
The home guard:
Manned anti-aircraft guns during air raids ­ the guns tried to shoots down enemy aircraft.…read more

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