revsion of britain

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Labour's 1945 victory
a majority of 148
Churchill's personal popularity as a war time leader did not carry over into peace time
The Conservatives were still blamed for the Great Depression of the 1930s and for the failure to
prepare Britain for war in time.
There was a feeling that the time was right for a new start for Britain, that it should be a `land fit
for heroes'. The Conservatives were seen as too old and establishment to introduce the new
changes needed socially and economically which were needed.
The Conservative electioneering campaign was poor and out of touch
Tories only spent £3000 on electioneering
Key Labour figures had been prominent in the war time coalition government and had gained a
very favourable reputation. Many, notably Attlee himself, has basically run the country as
Churchill focussed on running the war effort.
The electoral system worked in Labour's favour, meaning that they gained a seat for every 30
522 votes cast, but the Conservatives needed 46 893 votes to win a seat.
The Mood in Post War Britain.
The soldiers returning for war were looking forward to returning to their old jobs and a secure
The war had shown that the old ways had to go.
The collective nature of society during the war opened people's minds to a new way that
society could be developed. Government needed to be part of that
The old problems of poverty and slum housing would no longer be tolerated
Much of British industry was ruined or exhausted
New economies would grow and new technologies would develop that the British work force
were not willing, or able, to adapt to.
defeated nations, Germany and Japan, did the best out of the post war recovery, as they
received the most aid and could rebuild their economies from scratch, with new idea, machines,
attitudes and technologies.
The Key Figures in Attlee's government 1941-51
Clement Attlee.
PM for six of the hardest years that any government faced,
Under his office Britain formed the welfare state, was able to change the whole economic
founding member of NATO and granted independence to India.
Ernest Bevan
most influential statesmen of his era
a right winger in Labour Party terms
fought against the infiltration of Communists into the party and trade unions
Minister for Labour during the war
Between 1945 and 1950 he was Foreign Minister
Pro American and anti Soviet stance
Stafford Cripps.
gifted intellectual
pro Communist.

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Minister for Aircraft Production during the war
in 1946 he helped to prepare the way for Indian independence
From 1947 he was Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Austerity period and he called on the
nation to make any number of sacrifices and to put up with a number of restrictions.
Herbert Morrison.…read more

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The Family Allowances Act 1945 ­ provided weekly payments for every child after the first.
Money was paid directly to the mother.
The two main parties have argued about how it is funded and how efficient it is, but there has
been no difference between them over the need to keep it-consensus.
Resistance to the Welfare State.
The basic objections of the British Medical Association were;
They did not wish to become servants of the government.
They feared government interference in doctor ­ patient relations.…read more

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Great Depression of the 1930s,
would be avoided and jobs would be preserved.
The focus was to keep employment high.
only agency with enough power to keep demand high was the government
Government should use budgets and spending to keep demand high.
Any artificial boost will help the economy. Money spend will create demand, creating further
jobs and profits, which increased demand again.…read more

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A peaceful movement for Indian independence was led by Mahatma Ghandi.
The British envoy, Earl Mountbatten, proposed a division of the sub-continent into India, which
would be mostly Hindu, and Pakistan and East Pakistan, which would be mostly Muslim.
Independence was granted in 1947.
riots and massacres, to such an extent that over three million people were killed.
The End of the Attlee government.…read more

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Welfare was expensive, especially in a time of economic bankruptcy. By borrowing money to
pay for welfare, Britain was saddled with debt and economic growth was slow. (By contrast
West Germany focussed on industrial recovery before turning to welfare).
The NHS benefited the middle classes more than those most needy, as the best doctors
tended to be in the more affluent areas, and their services were now free. It was the poorest who
were most hit by the introduction of prescription charges.…read more

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Churchill and Eden Governments 1951 ­ 55
Churchill was 77 when he became PM for the second time and in many was he was a figurehead.
health was failing and he was incapacitated by a stroke for months in 1953,
However, his government introduced a number of important developments;
Rationing was ended.
Steel industry was denationalised.
Conservatives committed to building 300 000 new houses a year.
Labour's economic policies were accepted.
Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne.
Britain's first atomic bomb was detonated.…read more

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Short of money, in July 1956, Nasser announced the nationalisation of the Suez Canal, and that
foreign ships would now have to pay to pass through the canal.
The French were keen to teach Arabic nationalists a lesson (they were having their own
problems with nationalists in Algeria).
Eden had been led to believe that the USA would support moves against the now pro Soviet
Nasser.…read more

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Officially this was due to bad health, but his reputation, domestically and internationally, had
been shattered, and it would have been impossible for his to carry on, even if fully fit.
The Significance of the Suez Affair
British troops were withdrawn not because of military failure, but of the failure of political will. Indeed the
military operation was a resounding success. Suez showed many things about the new, post war world.…read more

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There was a failure to invest in research and development, or to improve employer ­ worker
relations. By the mid 1960s Britain's rate of economic growth was low.
`Never had it so good' speech
The warning that Macmillan was trying to give was lost as the press and public took the
message they wanted to hear ­ that Britain was prosperous.…read more


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