British History 1918-1990


Why did the Liberal Party decline 1918-39?

  • Electoral Reform
  • 1918 Rep of the People Act meant women 30+ wiho met a property qualification could vote- largely voted tory. It also gave the vote to all men 21+ who largely voted Labour. First past the post system also did not benefit the Liberals.
  • Impact of World War One
  • Liberals failed to tackle pre-WW1 problems eg. home rule in Ireland, woman's suffrage, militant trade unions. They became overwhelmed leading to a split between Asquith and Lloyd George in 1916 which weakened the party as the vote was split.
  • Knighthood Scandal
  • This was the immediate cause because Lloyd George presented himself as the 'enemy of privilege' and so news in 1922 that he had sold 1500 knighhoods between 1916-1922 was shocking.
  • Rise of Labour
  • Trade union membership was at 4million in 1914 and had rose to 8million by 1919- they funded the Labour party. Also, the Liberals under Asquith failed to take interest in social issues and Lloyd George was in an alliance with the Conservatives- Labour appeared to be the only progressive party.
  • Success of the Conservatives
  • Conservatives were the more popular party in the colation and at the Conservative Carlton Club meeting in November 1922, they decided to abandon the coalition with the Liberals. 
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Was the Nat Gov successful in dealing with problem

  • Introduction
  • Formed by Macdonald 1931. It became permanent until 1945 because Torys did not want full responsibility for spending cuts and national cohesion was needed due to the economic crisis and rearmament. 
  • Hunger Marches
  • March by 2000 people in 1932, 2 national marches in 1934 and 1936 and Jarow Crusade in 1936 (200 men.)
  • 1935 Special Areas Act attempted to deal with unemployment 
  • Extreme Political Parties
  • Battle of Cable Street 1936- Oswald Mosely and the British Union of Fascists clash with the Metropolitan Police- they had 50,000 members by 1934.
  • Communist party only had 9000 members during the 1930s- government policies were left wing enough to avoid people joining? eg. Unemployment Act 1934
  • Appeasment
  • Sudeten Crisis 1938 showed failure to deal with appeasment.
  • Abdication Crisis 1936 (Edward VIII)
  • Baldwin dealt with it well, telling him that his marriage to an American divorcee would be unacceptable.
  • Disarmament and Rearmament
  • Hundreds of thouands joined organisations such as the Peace Pledge Union and the League of Nations Union to oppose rearmament- government did not listen to the public.
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Was there a post-war consensus?

  • Introduction
  • Post-war consensus incorporated a mixed econmy, industrial co-operation, a welfare state and full employment.
  • Agree
  • Despite the radical nature of teh post-war Labour government, Conservative governments 1951-64 continued with a generally Keynesian approach to the economy eg. National Insurance Act 1959.
  • Lack of disagreement in the 50s becaueknown as 'Butskellism' (Conservative Chancellor R.A Butler and Labour Leader, Hugh Gaitskell)
  • Labour strengthened welfare state- Torys supported this eg. increased school and home building.
  • Labour nationalised major industries (eg. railways in 1948) and Conservatives largely maintained them. 
  • Disagree
  • Labour policies 1945-51 favoured a planed and managed economy (eg. National Insurance Act 1946) whereas Conservative policeis 1951-64 favoured deregulation where possible.
  • Conservative governments did little to extend welfare provisions and implemented some charging for services in the NHS eg. opticians and dentists.
  • Conservatives denationalised iron, steel and road haulage.
  • Austerity policies favoured by Cripps, Secretary of the Board of Trade 1945-51, were discareded over time eg. rationing stopped, income tax reduced, price controls and regulation relaxed.
  • Labour government devalued the pound in 1949- Torys actively resisted further devaluation.
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Did the post-war consensus break down 1970s?

  • Wilson 1964-70
  • Economy was stagnating because ofpersistent high inflation and high unemployment- led politicians to believe the consensus needed to be abandoned.
  • In Place of Strife, white paper drawn up by Barbara Castle in 1969, attempted but failed to settle union disputes- struggling to co-operate with the unions. 
  • Still committed to the post-war consensus- did not choose to abandon it yet.
  • Heath 1970-74
  • Moved away from Keynesianism in 1971.
  • 1973 Oil Crisis caused many economic problems.
  • 1971 Industrial Relations Act failed to control unions- Heath gave into the miners by giving them pay rises after 1972 Miners Strike which led to the 3-Day-Week.
  • Did not move away from post-war consensus because he made a U-turn
  • Wilson 1874-76, Callaghan 1976-79
  • IMF Loan 1976 meant the British had to make significant spending cuts in order to get it.
  • Callaghan repudiated Keynesian economics and attempted to break away from the post-war consensus.
  • Winter of Discontent 1978-79 led to the election of Thatcher who officially and completely broke away from the post-war consensus. 
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Was welfare provision widespread by 1939?

  • Pension Provision
  • 1908 Pensions Act still applied- gave pensions to those 70+ but it involved means tests and was not payable to widows or dependants.
  • 1925 Widows' Oprhans and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act provided 10 shillings a week to the groups named and extended age to 65 but it was paid for by contributions.
  • Unemployment
  • Unemployment Act 1920 created a state funded 'dole' which was available without a means test, benefits were increased to 75p for unemployed men and 60p for unemployed women. National insurance was extended from 4million workers in 1919 to 11.4million in 1921.
  • Local Government Act 1929 abolished workhouses but many stayed open as public assistance institutions.
  • National Economy Act 1931 introduced means tests.
  • Unemployment Act 1934 reversed 10% cut in benefit for the short term unemployed but cut benefit for the long term unemployed- led to protests (300,000 people in south Wales)- government introduced standstill regulations.
  • Housing
  • 1919 Housing & Town Planning Act empowered local authorites to use funds to meet housing needs; 600,000 houses were needed but only 213,000 were built because of the 'Geddes Axe'.
  • 1923/23 Housing Acts gave government subsidies to private and public constructions- between 1919-1940, 4 million homes were built with 1 million built by the public sector.
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Welfare Consensus 1945-79?

  • Why?
  • Total war brought the rich and poor closer together (eg. evacuation), led to a belief that state intervention should continue (eg. rationing introduced in Jan 1940) Coalition government- consensus already existed? Beveridge Report (1942) was very popular- used as propaganda.
  • Welfare Consensus Existed
  • Labour government (1945-51) passed the Family Allowances Act 1945, allowance of 5 shillings a week for each child apart from the oldest one. National Insurance Act 1946, paid a state pension to men 65+ and women 60+, for single people: £1.30, married: £2.10 but British people paid into it regardless of their incomes. Industrial Industries Act 1946 gave additional cover for workplace injuries (average of 2425 people were killed each year at work in the 1940s). New Towns Act 1946 authorised the building of new towns eg. Peterlee, Stevenage. National Assistance Act 1948 abolished PACs and offered welfare to those who were not covered by national insurance as they did not work. Conservatives largely maintained these acts eg. Macmillan wrote 'The Middle Way' in 1938, advocating the end of social deprivation through welfare, and he served as PM from 1957-63. Heath's government passed National Insurance Act 1970.
  • Welfare Consensus Broke Down.
  • The increased costs of the system (eg. increased birth rate, life expectancy), economic difficulties from the 1960s and arguments by right-wingers (eg. Joseph and Thatcher) that welfare provision weakened the economy led to the welfare consensus breaking down.
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Did healthcare improve 1918-39?

  • Yes
  • Minsitry of Health set up 1919- co-ordinated health at reigonal level, funds raised by National Health Insurance.
  • Infant mortality dropped and decrease in TB due to Tuberculosis Act 1921..
  • Local Government Act 1929, introduced by Minister of Health Chamberlain, reorganised healthcare on a reigonal basis and empowered PACs to develop infirmaries into proper hospitals.
  • Friendly societies were set up to help the poor afford basic medical treatment.
  • Medical journal 'The Lancet' advocated national healthcare- government beginning to think like this too.
  • Emergency Medical Service set up in 1939 to help victims of WW2 bombing.
  • No
  • Healthcare was never organised at a national level despite government ackowledgemnet that this was needed.
  • Healthcare provision was disproprotionate eg. maternal mortality rates were 50% higher in low-income groups than among the middle-classes.
  • Local Government Act 1929 did not require PACs to devlop infirmaries into hospitals and in 1939, half of all publics hospitals were still Poor Law infirmaries.
  • The Ministry of Health had no real authority and therefore made no real differences.
  • Reliance on private insurance which was often not enough to pay for care.
  • Sickness insurance schemes did not fund dependents eg. wives and children
  • Less than half the popualtion was insured against illness in 1929.
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Was the NHS successful?

  • National Health Service Act passed in 1946 under Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health and Housing, and came into practice in 1948- 'free at the point of use'.
  • Yes
  • Paid for by direct taxation rather than insurance- transformed healthcare in the UK.
  • Led to medical advanes eg. contraceptive pill (1961), first hip replacement (1962), first kidney transplant (1960), by 1978 there were over 13.6 million prescriptions.
  • Life expectancy increasef for men from 66 to 70 and for women this was 71 to 75.
  • Hospitals were improved eg. Macmillan's Hospital Plan (1962) led to the creation on 90 new hopsitals, redesign and modernisation of 134 hospitals and refurbishment on 356 hospitals.
  • Maternal deaths dropped significant and childbirth in hospital became the norm.
  • 1959 Mental Health Act introduced new terminology, removed judges, introduced an open door policy.
  • No
  • Did not cause immediate change- inherited existing infrastructure.
  • Faced various challenges eg. increase in demand, June 1947 there were 6.8 million prescriptions, this was 13.6 million in September 1948, spent 250% more on drugs in 1964 than 1951, it needed modernising, it was difficult to pay staff as total staffing increased from around 400,000 in 1951 to 1 million+ in 1979. Ageing population- performed 24,000 hip replacements in 1979.
  • Not effective in tackling mental heath- by 1974 only 15% of daycare places needed were available.
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Did education provide opportunities 1918-43?

  • Schools
  • 1918 Education Act, based on the Lewis Report,  raised the school leaving age to 14 and meant that most of the costs of education were transferred away from LEAs to central government which resulted in an improvement in teachers' salaries and pensions, which the government hoped would improve school standards.
  • 1926 Hadow Commmittee reccomended the abolition of elementary schools and the division into primary and secondary schools and the raising of the school-leaving age to 15.
  • 1918 Education Act also created grant-funded grammar schools that charged fees but awarded scholarships.
  • Hadow Committee reports were not adapted because of cost and because the responsiblity for education had been developed to local authorities.
  • Overall, secondary schools were the preserve of middle-class children- on the eve of WW2 only 13% of working-class children aged thirteen and above were still in school even though it was compulsory. 
  • In 1931, 20% of children were in some form of secondary education and many of these would leave at 14.
  • Poorer parents could not afford to keep their offspring at grammar school beyond the age of 14 even if they had a scholarship because they needed them to earn a wage to support the family.
  • Universities
  • Some opportunities arose for working-classes through grants/scholarships, especially in teacher-training. It became more accessible for women and many families began to see its value. Funded by government from 1919.
  • Most UNIs, especially Oxbridge, remained dominated by elites and there were far more opportunities for the middle-class.
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Did education provide opportunities 1944-79?

  • Schools
  • Education Act 1944:no fees, education paid for through tax,extended to age of 15.Established a 'tripartite' system: grammar schools and the eleven-plus which meant working-class children could attend, secondary moderns: vocational courses, technical schools to educate middle classes for science or engineering.
  • Growth in comprehensives throughout 1950s- included all children, regardless of ability. Thatcher approved 3,286 between 1970-74. Main form of education by 1979. Crowther Report (1959),Newsom Report (1963) supported comprehensives because equality of opportunity.
  • Progressive education was undertaken by some in the 1960s and 70s eg. William Tynedale School
  • SMs: less resources, less well-qualified teachers; TS's never had an intake higher than 3% of secondary school students, critics of the eleven plus argued it deepened class divisions as majority of working-class children went to SMs. Many working-class children couldn't afford uniforms or resources.
  • No policy to force the issue of comprehensives was ever created.
  • The Black papers (1969), 'Yellow Book' and Callaghan's Ruskin Speech (1976) criticised progressive education.
  • Universities
  • Percy (1945) and Barlow (1946) reports reccomended that more science subjects should be studied.
  • Robbins Report (1963) reccomended 5 times more student places by 1980- by 1970 11 UNIs were established.
  • Open University began in 1971,esrablished by Wilson government under Arts Minister, Jenny Lee.
  • Elitism in UNIs was still prevalent
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Did attitudes to class change 1918-51?

  • Yes
  • Decline in deference: high death toll in WW1 (704,803 men from Britain killed) shook working class confidence in them, life in trenches resulted in social mixing.
  • Decline in upper classes: death toll among u/c very disproportinately high in WW1 (in 1914, 6 peers, 16 baronets, 6 knights and 261 sons of aristocrats died), many families forced to pay death duties and so many aristocrats could no longer afford grand homes.
  • Economic improvements: growth in owner-occupiers (750,000 in early 1920s to 3,250,000 by 1938), Rep of the People Act 1918 meant more of the w/c had surplus income.
  • Impact of WW2: working class people interviewed by researchers expressed a desire for a more equal Britain, some historians argue that a social revolution took place because of the unity of evacuation and rationing.
  • No
  • Conservative support: Torys continued to enjoy working and middle class support, suggesting there was limited class conflict
  • Fall in union membership and strikes: depression led to union membership rapidly declining due to unemployment, Middle-class volunteers organised to break the 1926 General Strike- class conflict. 
  • Continued poverty: south Wales and the northeast were badly affected by the depression whereas in areas like the midlands and the southeast there was a growth of new jobs- emphasied class divisions.
  • WW2 reflected prejudics: arguably evacuation reinforced prejudices.
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Change in class & social values 1951-79?

  • Yes
  • Sex scandals eg. Profumo Scandal (who resigned in 1963) marked a watershed when people realised their leaders didn't deserve peoples trust purely by virtue of position.
  • 'British New Wave': late 1950s and early 60s saw an abundance of novels about working-class people coming to terms with the end of the old w/c world eg. Alan Sillitoe's 'Saturday Night Sunday Morning' (1958) which became a film in 1960- both were popular indicating changing attitudes.
  • 'Satire boom' in the 50s and 60s eg. 'Beyond the Fringe' (first performed 1960), TV programme 'That Was the Week That Was'(1962-63)- both of these debunked figures of autority.
  • End of rationing (1954) and consumer credit enabled w/c households to enjoy high levels of prosperity.
  • Pengiun published D.H Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterly's Lover' (1960)- government prosecuted them under the Obscene Publications Act 1959- Penguin won, leading to the end of censorship.
  • American musical 'Hair' (1968) and 'Oh Calcutta' (1970) showed full nudity on stage.
  • Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised homosexuality
  • No
  • Mary Whitehouse launched campaign 'Clean Up Tv' which gained much popularity. She co-founded the NVALA in 1965 which opposed sex, violence and swearing on TV- attracted over 100,000 members.
  • Malcom Muggeridge founded 'Festival of Light' with Whitehouse, Cliff Richard and Labour cabinet member Lord Longford. Aimed to prevent the sexualisation of TV, promote christianity. Organised nationwide events.
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Did the position of women change 1918-45?

  • Franchise: Rep of the People Act 1918- women 30+ who met a property qualification could vote,comprised 43% of the electorate in December 1918 but only 'respectable' women could vote.
  • Politics: Never more than 5% of MPS were women, thought to be more influential at a local level but by 1930 less than 15% of local councillors were female.
  • Employment: by 1918 there were 1million+ women in the metal and chemical industries but numbers of employed women returned to 1914 levels after the war. In 1918 1.25 women were in service but this showed how clear gender roles were in employment. Unequal pay was the norm.
  • WW2: By 1944, 80,000 women worked on farms for the Women's Land Army, many were paid better as a result of WW2 employment, they acquired new skills and confidence in their abilities and there was an increase in opportunites eg. managerial roles. 
  • Divorce: 1934 satirical novel 'Holy Deadlock' by AP Herbert pointed out the absurdity of an unhappy couple being unable to get a divorce. He became an independent MP and helped to pass the 1937 Matrimonial Causes Act which allowed divorce if either partner had been unfaithful which had widespread public support despite the Church of England opposing it.
  • Birth Control: Dr Marie Stopes founded the 1st birth control clinic in London in 1921 and this led to many moer across the country. 1930, the General Medical Council allowed doctors to give contraceptive advice to married couples but the Labour Party in 1927 voted against allowing local authority funding for birth control clinics. 
  • Flappers grew as a trend post-1918 as many women became single as a result of the war.
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Did position of women change 1945-79?

  • Economic
  • End of marriage bar: 50% of married women had jobs by 1972. Until late 1950s unequal pay was the norm- women received on average 40% less.
  • 1968: female machinists at Ford in Dagenham were paid 15% less than men - women went on strike for 3 weeks- Barbara Castle gave them 7% pay rise, a court inquiry eventually ruled against the women-one of the main causes of the Equal Pay Act 1970.
  • In 1959, Labor Party made a commitment to equal pay and in 1965, the TUC did too but it took until 1970 for the Equal Pay Act to be passed and it didn't come into effect until 1975.
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975 ensured that women had legal protection against disrimination in education and employment but women still faced prejudices and gender roles still existed.
  • Political
  • Number of female MPS stayed constant between 20-30 (dips in 1959 and 1979), women in Parliament were rarely selected for cabinet posts. Thatcher became leader of the Tories (1975) but had difficulites getting there.
  • Social
  • Contraceptive Pill (1961), by 1971 1 million women were using it and 1967 Abortion Act.
  • Second Wave Feminism developed eg. Germaine Greer's 'The Female ******' (1970), Sheila Rowbotham organised first National Women's Conference at Ruskin College (1970)
  • 60% of women in late 50s admitted to feeling frustrateted, bored and lonely as housewives.
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Did attitudes towards minorities improve 1918-39?

  • Education
  • Around 50 people from West Africa, 50 from the Caribbean and a similar number from India were educated in Britain's top UNIs so they could return to the colonies to serve the Emperor as senior administrators. The League of Coloured People established by Harold Moody in 1931 to support immigrant students.
  • Black and minority students routnely experienced racial discrimination.
  • Employment
  • Post-WW1: unemployment levels rose- angry mobs of unemployed white Britons attacked black and Asian people for 'stealing their jobs' eg. in Cardiff white violence led to 3 deaths and £3000 of property damage.
  • The colour bar meant black and Asian people were excluded from some employment.
  • Alien Orders Act 1920 required migrant workers to register with the police before seeking work.
  • League of Coloured People reported that in 1934-45 80% of black and Asian men had been unemployed for a prologned period compared to just 30% of white men.
  • Activist Groups
  • Communist Party of Great Britain opposed racism and it was founded in 1921 and had a high proportion of members from ethnic minority groups but was relatively unattractive to the majority of white workers.
  • International African Service Bureau was established in London in 1937 by the Caribbean intellectuals C.L.R James and George Padmore and established a newspaper 'International African Opinion' which encouraged readers to lobby their MPS for black rights.
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Did Britain become more racially tolerant 1940-79?

  • Yes
  • WW2 opened up new opportunities for minorites eg. education and training offered to ex-servicemen.
  • British Nationality Act 1984- people from British colonies could enter the UK. Led to the arrival of the ** Empire Windrush (June 1948) bring 492 Jamaicans to Britain.
  • Labour shortages led to government actively encouraging migration at the start of this period eg. 1948 act.
  • Labour government introduced Race Relations Acts (1965, 68 and 76) to outlaw discrimination.
  • Roy Jenkins rejected a goal of cultural assimilatio- said that Britain should celebrate multi-culturalism.
  • Obi B. Egbuna formed British Black Panther Party (1968), Darcus Howe founded Race Today Collective (1974.
  • Enoch Powell was sacked from the Conservative shadow cabinet after his speech.
  • No
  • Commonwealth Immigration Acts 1962 and 1968 designed to end large-scale immigration eg. 1962 act said they had to have a job waiting for them or specific skills, 1968 put restrictions on families.
  • Immigration Act 1971 established partial (generally white people) and non-partials (generally not white people) and put strict controls on non-partials.
  • Notting Hill Rios 1958- 300-700 white armed men beat black residents of Notting Hill- police did little to stop this.
  • Propaganda during the war discouraged men from the Caribbean from joining the war effort.
  • Learie Constantine refused accomodation in London's Imperial Hotel in 1944 because of American guests.
  • Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech (1968) advocated tougher race relations- polls said 74% agreed with him
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Did living conditions improve 1918-39?

  • Boom and Crash
  • Initially soldiers returned to work andliving standards rose but this boom was short-lived- 1 million unemployed by the end of 1920, 1/3rd of these were veterans.
  • Unemployment at 2.5 million by 1930.
  • 1932: approx 12% of thos engaged in electrical appliances were unemployed wheras 70% of those engaged in ship-building were unemployed.
  • Reigonal Differences
  • Decline of heavy industry led to disparity between the poorest and the wealthiest parts of the country eg. 1932: London and the southeast faced unemployment rates of 11% compared to 40% in Wales.
  • Hunger
  • Survey in 1933 concluded that unemployment benefits were insufficient to provide a minimum diet.
  • Estimated that by the late 1920s there were 20,000 fish and chip shops- cheap luxury for w/c.
  • Consumer Boom
  • In 1930, there were 200,000 vacuum cleaner sales a year- this was 400,000 by 1940.
  • 300% increase in the sale of electric cookers between 1930-35.
  • Housing
  • Of the 1.1 million council houses built during this period, 90% were on new estates.
  • In 1914, 10% of people owned their homes, by 1932 this was 32%
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Did living standards worsen post-WW2 (1939-51)?

  • Yes
  • Rationing began in 1940 and continued until 1954- bread rationing introduced between 1946-48 which the Daily Mail described as 'the most hated measure ever to have been presented to the people of this country'
  • 1944 Housing and Temporaary Accomodation Act led to the building of pre-fabricated homes that were designed to last a maximum of 10 years- they were cold and damp eg. Excalibur Estate in London.
  • Winter of 1947-47 had extremely heavy snow and exposed the extent of Britain's post-war economic fragility- electricity supply to homes was cut by the Minister for Fuel and Power, Emmanuel Shinwell, to 19 hours a day. It was sobad that Canadian and Australlian citizens sent food parcels to British families.
  • WW2 bombing destroyed around 2 million homes.
  • No
  • Rationing improved health.
  • Many owners of pre-fabricated homes recorded immense satisfaction with them.
  • Bombing did not affect rural countryside areas and the destruction of cities allowed for architects to rebuild and improve- they followed the pre-war Tudlor-Walters Report, leading to more modern housing.
  • New Towns Act 1946 created 14 new towns across Britain, designed to relieve overcrowding eg. Basildon, Peterlee, Stevenage.
  • Festival of Britain 1951 celebrated the centenary of the Great Exhibition and was held to boost exports as it showcased British manufacturing- focal point was London's Bank featuring a new riverside embankment.
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Did a consumer society develop 1951-79?

  • Yes
  • 1957: Britain spent £1 billion+ on consumer goods, rising to £1.5 billion by 1960.
  • Wages in 1959 were, on average, twice what they were in 1950.
  • In 1955, only 17% of home had a washing machine, by 1966 this was 60%.
  • Rules around consumer credit were relaxed in 1954- in 1955, demand for TV sets rose by 10%.
  • Throughout the 1970s, British tastes for foreign food and grink rapidly grew because of cheaper travel and because of the rapid growth of supermarket chains providing low-cost foods and choice.
  • Between 1961-64, Runcorn Skelmersdale and various other new towns were created.
  • Real wages rose by 130% between 1955-69.
  • No
  • In 1966 the housing charity Shelter was founded to help the 12,000 homeless people worldwide.
  • In 1967 it was revealed that 7.5 million people were living below the poverty line.
  • In 1963, Manchester still had 80,000 slum houses.
  • During the 1960s new high-rise flats were created- they were cold, damp and generally not in great condition. 
  • In 1968, an explosion at Ronan Point Flats in London, killing 3 people, took place because the builders had used old newspapers instead of concrete.
  • ^If people could not afford decent homes, they could not afford consumer goods.
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Did popculture reflect experiences 1918-45?

  • Music and Radio
  • John Reith set the BBC mission as to 'inform, educate and entertain' and they broadcast lectures, concerts and programmes which was thought to be beneficial to ordinary people.
  • Duke Ellington was an American jazz and swing artist who was first introduced to Britain in the 1930s.
  • Ivor Novello ws the most successful recroding artist in the 1920s- wrote the song 'Keep the Home Fires Burning' during WW1 which was still popular during WW2- reflected the fears and sorrows of people post-war.
  • BBC Radio formed in 1922 reflected the values of the government and not the quality of life experienced by many British peope.
  • Ivor Novello was paid £15,000 by his record company- not a normal British citizen.
  • Cinema
  • Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Pleasure Garden' (1923) and the 1926 film 'London Love' reflected the changes women were experiencing during this period.
  • 'In Which We Serve' was released during WW2 by Noel Coward- encouraged patriotism.
  • 1927 Cinematopgraph Films Act ensured 7.5% of films shown had to be British, rising to 20% in 1935- reflected British fears that their world power status was diminishing.
  • Hundreds of elaborate 'picture palaces' built attracting affluent middle-classes- not accessible for everyone.
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Did popculture reflect experiences 1945-79?

  • Music and Radio
  • The Beatles' 'She Loves You' (1964) sold 750,000 copies in under a month-pop music reflected optimism, David Bowie  rejected male hetrosexuality reflected liberal society, punk, late 1970s, (eg. Sex Pistols, The Clash) was linked by NME with declining living standards, 'Ska' music (eg. The Specials) reflected  lack of opportunity for black and white young people, 'Mod' pop music genre (1960s) reflected consumerism and fashion, reggae reflected the experience of black people living in Britain, Elton John- popular in 1970s- feel-good pop music did not reflect the anger of the time.
  • Cinema
  • 'Passport Pilimico' (1949) reflected post-war austerity, James Bond films (first one in 1962) reflected improving living standards 1960s- not true for everyone, 'Saturday Night- Sunday Morning' (1960) reflected working-class people rejecting class boundaries, Clockwork Orange (1971) reflected the fears of rising crime.
  • TV
  • 'Morecamb and Wise' 1977 Xmas show watched by 20million+: class boundaries were breaking down as people enjoyed similar light entertainment, 'Steptoe and Son' (1962) reflected changing attitudes towards class, 'Doctor Who' (1963) led to obsessions with merchandise- reflected consumerism, 'Cathy Come Home': 1960s drama about social issues eg. homelessness, illegal abortion- reflected problems in society but was not widely replicated, ITV enjoyed a prediominantly working-class audiences- within 5 years of being founded (1955) it's advertising revenues were greater than all the national newspapers put together ,BBC  aimed at m/c.
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Did youth culture develop 1945-79?

  • Yes
  • 'Ready Steady Go!' (broadcast fom 1963-66) featured a studio audience dancing to live performances from current pop acts- audience was selected from trendy London nightclubs and audience at home copied dances and bought the clothes.
  • Mods (1970s) dressed in fashionable clothes and drove vespas listened to black-inspired rythm and blues from the US.
  • Punks (1970s) wer influenced by Malcom McLaren whose boutique 'SEX' sold clothes by Vivienne Westwood.
  • Teddy boys (mid 1950s) had slicked bac hair and listened to rock'n'roll.
  • Skinheads had a working-class arrogance and listened to reggae and ska inspired music- often wore expensive Abercombie overcoats, Ben Sherman shirts and Doc Martens.
  • Footballl violence, particularly amongst skinheads, lasted into the 1980s and beyond.
  • No
  • Many people were afraid of the violence associated with young people and this fear grew after May 1964 when gangs of mods and rockers descended on seaside resorts to commit acts of vandalism and fighting- 51 arrests in Margate and 76 in Brighton.
  • Young people still joined the Scouting movement, attended youth clubs and did charity work- in 1945 the various scouting movements claimed 471,000 members and by 1970 this had risen to 539,340- traditional role of children.
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Did tourism grow 1918-79?

  • Yes
  • 1936: coaches transported 82 million passengers to rural parts of Britain.
  • 72,000 people visited the Lake District a year during the 1930s- attraction grew because of Arthur Ransome's 'Swallows and Amazons' novels (1932-36).
  • By the 1920s, there were 4000 boarding houses in Blackpool.
  • First Butlin camp built in Skegness in 1936 which grew for 30 years- in 1939 the Skegness and Clacton camps were providing holidays for 100,000 visitors a year.
  • Almost all businesses offered at least a fortnight's holiday to employees by the 1960s.
  • Foreign tourism grew in 1950s, 60s and 70s.
  • 1971: Britain took 4 million holidays abroad, 1981: 13 million.
  • Caravan holidays accoutned for 20% of all holidays taken in the 1960s and over half of the population had participated in a caravan holiday by the 1970s.
  • No
  • 1920s: tourist facilities geared towards the wealthy and few people went abroad, those who did went to exclusive locations eg. French Riveria
  • Butlins declined from the late 1960s as changes changed.
  • During the 1960s, the government, in attempt to keep the value of the pound high, prevented Britons from taking more than £50 out of the country per year- limited holidays.
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Was the growth in car ownership significant 1918-7

  • Yes
  • By 1934 there wer nearly 2.5 million cars on British roads- allowed for more holidays within Britain eg. Butlins
  • Morris Minor SV was the first £100 car going into production in 1931- alligns with when British people started travelling to the Lake District (probably by car- 72,000 people every year during the 30s.
  • Mersey Tunnel opened in 1934, Great North Road finished in 1939- could travel around Britain.
  • 1930 Road Traffic Act, introducing Highway Code for example, showed increasing ownership.
  • Stimulated other industries.
  • 1958: Preston bypass opened- first 8 mile stretch of motorway.
  • Development of high speed roads improved quality of life.
  • Led to a decline in trains- from 1960-62 they made a £104 million loss.
  • Beeching, head of British Transport Commission removed 5000 miles of railway in 1963- became known as 'Beeching Axe'.
  • No
  • Cars in 1920s were too expensive- Rover 10/25 cost £250 in 1929
  • Outrage and trouble with travel over 'Beeching Axe' shows car was not main form of transport.
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Did spectator sports grow 1918-79?

  • Yes
  • At Epsom, Aintree and Derby race courses in 1930s, large free areas attracted between 200,000 and 500,000 people.
  • 500,000 people paid to see the Ryder Cup in 1933.
  • Throughout the 1920s and 30s, on average, 22 million people a year attended professional football.
  • Sports during WW2 were seen to boost morale: 1943, 55,000 attended a football match at Chelsea which raised £8000 for naval welfare charities.
  • Cricket became very popular post-WW2- by 1948 the Ashes attracted as many spectators as the London Olympics that year.
  • Government developed Sports Council of Great Britain 1972 to promote sport.
  • 32 million viewers watched the 1966 world cup on TV.
  • 1948, 41 million tickets sold for Football League matches.
  • No
  • During the depression, nearly all rugby league clubs outside Yorkshire and Lancashire closed due to low attendance.
  • During WW2, sports stadiums were initally closed due to bombing.
  • 2 decades after 48, football tickets sold had fallen to 30 million because of availability of sport on TV, growth in violent clashes and choice of other pastimes because of rising living standards. 
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Were Thatcher's economic policies successful?

  • Yes
  • Initial goal was to cut inflation using monetarist policies eg. tax rises and spending cuts- inflation fell from 13.4% in 1979 to 4.6% in 1983.
  • 25% of people owned shares by 1990 because of advertisements like 'Tell Sid' for British Gas which led to 4.6 million people buying shares in the company. 
  • Tax cuts (eg.cut the top rate of tax from 83% to 60% in 1981) benefitted the rich.
  • Deregulation of City of London (1986-88) eg. interest rates cut from 14% to 7.5% (1987-88) led to 'Lawson Boom' and emergence of yuppies.
  • Productivity increased compared to the 1970s- made companies more profitable and led to increased wages.
  • No
  • Unemployment hit 3 million and industry and manufacturing were hit hard eg. British Steel made 53,000 workers redundant in 1979 because of privatisation policies.
  • Inflation remained higher than competitors in Europe.
  • Growth rate was lower than in the 1960s and the economy continued to decline internationally.
  • Stock market crash on 17th October 1987 because of boom led to increase rates being raised to 15%.
  • VAT increased from 8% to 15% which widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
  • There was an increase in social security spending which went against her beliefs, because of unemployment, and Thatcher failed to cut overall public spending.
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Did Thatcher roll back the state?

  • Dfence and Law and Order
  • Extension of police powers: Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 increased police powers because of 1981 Brixton riots, Public Order Act 1986 outlined more criminal offences to do with rioting.
  • Defence: Falklands War (1982), purchase of Trident (cost £7.5 billion for the first 15 years alone), cooperation with USA over missiles on UK territory (1979), 1981 defence review 'The Way Forward' committed defence spending to increase 3% every year throughout the 1980s.
  • Civil liberties: banned unions at GCHQ, Zircon affair (1985-86), banning of Spycatcher (1985)
  • Cuts in conventional forces (defence spending fell by 7% from 1979-1989)
  • Economics
  • Ended corporatism: abandoned price and income policies and left these to the free market
  • Privatisation returned huge sections of the economy to the private sector.
  • Failed to reduce welfare spending.
  • Trade union control through laws ratehr than cooperation- greater government power.
  • Public Sector
  • Education Act 1988 led to National Curriculum and introduction of SATS.
  • Local government: abolished GLC, rate capping (1985-86)
  • NHS: failed to control spending (grew by 35% 1979-89)
  • Cut the civil service by 25% and sale of council houses (around half a million bought their council house every year)
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Did Thatcher create divisions in society?

  • Class Divisions
  • Miners strike 1984-5: divisions between miners and police (over 100 injured at the Battle of Orgreave) and emphasized north-south divide. 
  • Gap between rich and poor: income of the richest 10% went up by 61%, income of the poorest 10% decreased by 18%
  • Could argue miners strike brought communities and groups together eg. Race Today Collectiev supported them, 'Women Against Pit Closures) organised rallies in support, 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners'.
  • Political Divisions
  • Conservative support was strong in the south and east but low in the north, Wales and Scotland.
  • IRA: determination not to give in led to Bobby Sands death (1981) and Brighton Hotel Bombing 1984.
  • Centre ground moved to the right- Michael Foot, Labour leader until 1983, was far-left.
  • Social Divisions
  • Race: 1981 riots because of 'Operation Swamp '81' and rumours that a black teenager had died in police custody- 300 black and white youths clashed with 1000+ police fficers. 
  • Sexuality: Thatcher tried to promote traditional family values eg. Section 28 of 1988 Local Government Act- led to protests by gay and lesbian groups and the creation of Stonewall in 1989.
  • Feminism: Thatcher spoke out against the Greenham Common Women's Peace Campaign and ignored various other campaigns eg. anti-p*rn movement, and Selma James.
  • Society became increasingly multi-cultural and tolerant of different lifestyles.
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Did Thatcher effect on party development?

  • Conservatives
  • John Major introduced trade union laws, lowered income tax, raised VAT and conducted further privatisation (eg. railways  1994) but he removed the poll tax and was more pro-Europe.
  • First cabinet included many wets eg. Jim Prior they were purged and replaced with self-made businessmen such as Tebbit and Lawson. 
  • Labour
  • Thatcher called 'New Labour' under Tony Blair  her 'greatest achievment' as they embraced privatisation, low taxation, free market policies and low regulation but they heavily invested in welfare.
  • Labour moved to the left in the early 1980s under Foot but they were heavily defeated in 1983 election
  • Led to party split as moderates set up SDP and later merged with liberals which had different views to Thatcher eg. pro-Europe and co-ownership rather than privatisation however David Owen, leader of the SDP was branded as 'Thatcher with Brylcream' as he advocated a 'social market economy' which advocated the Thatcherite view that the market was the most efficient way of generating and distributing wealth.
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