British Depth Study, 1939-1975
How far did British Society Change?
What impact did the Second World War have on the British People?
· The blitz was a very frightening experience for the people
· Evacuation drastically changed the lives of thousands of school children
· Better off families gained direct experience of now poor children lived and they were shocked by what they saw
· Rationing improved the diets of children but meant that they grew up used to shortages
· People who were children in the Second World War never forgot the huge changes it made to their lives: both good and bad
Which immigrants were living in Britain in 1945?
· Former prisoners of war, some in camps, others who chose to stay in Britain of their own free will
· Jews, poles, and other Europeans who had fled the chaos and persecution in wartime Europe
· Irish people, who formed the largest immigrant group in the UK throughout the twentieth century
Why did different groups migrate to Britain between 1948 and 1972?
· Different groups came for different reasons
· The nationality act 1948 extended British citizenship to all people in the British empire
· Economic hardship, political turmoil, and natural disasters in their home countries all served to make Britain an attractive place for migrants
· Governments and private companies recruited workers to help rebuild Britain
· In the early period immigrants were largely single men coming to make money to send home. In the later period, immigrants were increasingly women and children coming to Britain to join their families
What were the experiences of immigrants?
· Racial discrimination was common and affected immigrants’ experience of housing, employment and leisure activity
· Some immigrants had high expectations of Britain and were deeply disappointed by reality
· Immigrants tended to live with others from their own country, which gave them much needed support
· Although the government had invited immigrants over to Britain to work, they were actually given less practical help to settle than even the German prisoners of war who settled here after the war
What contribution had immigrants made to British society by the early 1970s?
· Immigrants formed much of the workforce in public service such as transport and NHS
· Immigrants had broadened British music and diet and changed the culture of British cities
What was the impact of the NHS on people’s lives?
· The experiences of the war meant that by 1945 most British people were prepared for the state to organise a national health service, paid for by everybody
· Before the NHS, poorer people could not always afford doctor’s fees. After the NHS everyone had access to a good standard of healthcare
· The NHS had a big impact on the lives of women, for example women got much…