BH - Conservatives 45-64

HideShow resource information

Overview

After WW2 societys mood swung left, favourably looking towards socialism

Electorate mostly interested in social reforms + welfare

Conservatives were associated w/ the economically poor periods of 20s/30s

1 of 5

Revival of conservatism post 45-

Opinion polls suggested Labour would win, socia/economic reforms would be key issues, National/Conservatist governments associated w/ unemployment + depression, by 1948 looked like opposition again, Labour majority in 1950 was only 5 

Reorganisation -

disintegration during inter-war years1945 election campaign run poorly

party was reconstructed w/ part list members etc

1947 basic operations restored

Lord Woolton appointed as party chairman

membership/fundraising drive initiated by Woolton, membership of 3 mil by 50s, attained sponsorships from industry/wealthy patrons

this money allowed Woolton to expand staff

party portrayed a more youthful/democratic image -> The Young Conservative Movement became popular

2 of 5

Revival of conservatism post 45- #2

Policies + Propaganda 

opposed Labours social reform but conceded due to its popularity

Butler leader of Conservative Research Department, was a think tank of policy and it appointed talented young conservatives such as Enoch Powell and came up w/ phrases such as 'property owning democracy'

Onwership and structure of industry made a priority, 'The Industrial Charter' published by a committee

The Industrial Charter stressed emphasis on the need for cooperation w/ the industry, and stressed the importance of trade unions - it called for reduced taxes + public expenditure - it attacked stiff monopolies and supported 'co-partnership' - it didnt stand for laisez fairre

The Right Road For Britain, was similar to a manifesto - it stressed the protection of welfare, the want to lower taxes, make employed more responsible for costs regarding welfare, pledge to build 300,000 houses annually

3 of 5

Economic problems

Economic problems struck the Labour government, w/ WW2 leaving Britain bankrupt and reliant on loans from USA.... defending the empire, welfare state, rebuilding houses were HIGH in costs

Labour still endorsed 'fair share' policy, the 'age of austerity' or in other words rationing post-war remained

Labour wanted to divert money into industrial production, and social services - sacrifice of individual consumption

Middle class voters were frustrated, the Cons promised they would reduce the controls and bureaucracy associated w/ war

4 of 5

Cold War

Conservatives/Liberals were concerned with expansion of the role of the state/high taxation continued into peacetime

This anti socialist stance was caused by the early Cold War, socialism was justified during war due to USSR as allies and the unemployment in Britain

Language of politics transitioned in 1946, freedom/democracy v repression/dictatorship... enterprise/opportunity v planning/bureaucracy... individualism/justice v collectivism/injustice

Free enterprise wernt associated w/ the 30s no more, and the Cons were able to transfer mild versions of arguments against the USSR + Eastern Bloc dictatorship/communism

5 of 5

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Modern Britain - 19th century onwards resources »