Britain 1931-1951

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How were Britain affected after the Wall Street Crash of 1929?
The Wall Street Crash meant that the demand for British goods were declined because they were too expensive at a time of Depression. This led to companies having to sack their workers, meaning there were 3 MILLION PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED in Britain by 1932
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Where was unemployment levels worse?
South Wales, Clydeside, North West And North East Ireland.
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Which older industries were in decline & why?
coal, iron, steel, shipbuilding, textiles because they relied on worldwide markets.
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What policy did the British goverment of the 1920's follow which made their situation worse?
following a policy of free trade, where foreign goods could enter Britain without paying taxes, whereas British goods often had import duties placed on them by foreign governments which made them more expensive.
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What percentage of miners and shipbuilders were unemployed by 1932?
by 1932 34.5% of all miners and 62% of shipbuilders were unemployed.
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What goverment came to power in 1929 & who was the prime Minister?
In 1929 the Labour party came to power with RAMSAY MACDONALD as Prime Minister
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What did they do to try and reduce unemployment?
Proposed cutting unemployment benefits by 15% and setting up a ‘means test’ where officials could visit the homes of the unemployed to assess how poor people were.
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Why did the Labour Goverment of 1929 collapse?
Labour party MPs could not agree to the cuts
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What was the National goverment and when was it formed?
Set up in 1931, the National Government was a coalition made up of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties
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Who led the National Goverment?
Ramsay Macdonald
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What were the short term meausures, made by the National goverment to reduce unemployment?
Publics spending costs introduced, eg. 15% cut for teachers, 10 % for civil servants and the armed forces & 5% cut for the police.
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What were the short term meausures, made by the National goverment to reduce unemployment?
Took Britain out of the Gold Standard (where the value of the pound had been high), meaning the value of the pound was reduced so British exports became cheaper.
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What were the short term meausures, made by the National goverment to reduce unemployment?
. Income tax was increased to help pay for unemployment benefits.
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What were the short term meausures, made by the National goverment to reduce unemployment?
MEANS TEST introduced in 1931, After 6 months on unemployment benefit, people went onto the ‘dole’. Before they could receive this, they had their houses, savings and possessions inspected, which was called the means test.
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Explain who carried out the inspections for the Means Test?
The tests were carried out by inspectors from the local Public Assistance Committees (PACs) which had been set up in 1930.
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Explain what the MEANS TEST involved?
• Families could be forced to sell possessions, such as furniture, if they wanted to receive the dole. If a family had any other source of income, deductions would be made from the ‘dole’ e.g if an elderly relative lived with them.
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How much did those who qualified for the Dole recieve?
Average maximum payment for a family of 2 adults and 3 children was fixed at £1.46. This was increased to £1.80 in 1936, still below average wage of £3.00.
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Why was the Means test hated?
People believed the goverment were just trying to save money and not actually help the unemployed. hated having a government inspector go through their belongings and then force them to sell them.
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What were the Governments long-term measures?
IMPORT DUTIES ACT 1932 put a 10-20% duty on all imports so that people would ‘buy British’. Helped new industries such as cars and electrical goods, but had little impact on the older inustries.
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What were the Governments long-term measures?
Exchange Equalisation Account set up which kept reserves of gold and foreign currency in Britain.
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What were the Governments long-term measures?
Helping Older Industries by encouraging small companies to join with other companies to make large companies that could compete with foreign rivals.BUT this only led to small companies closing and having to sack their workers, so higher unemployment
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What were the Governments long-term measures?
• 1934 Unemployment Act = a)National Insurance (NI) benefit could be claimed by those who had paid their National Insurance contributions. No means test but only paid for 15 weeks.
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How effective were government policies?
National Government believed the Depression was a temporary slump and so did not provide large grants which meant the effects of the Depression lasted much longer in Britain than elsewhere.
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How effective were government policies?
By the end of the 1930s, unemployment had fallen to 1 million but this was not down to the government BUT because of a revival in world trade and the policy of rearmament after 1935 with the production of military aircraft 4 war.
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What were ‘hunger marches’ ?
‘hunger marches’ are protests , where unemployed men marched to gain publicity about the horrors of the means test
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What does NUWM stand for?
National Unemployed Workers’ Movement
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What was the infant death rate in 1935?
 Infant death rate = 42 out of every 1,000 live births in the South East.  Infant death rate = 76 out of every 1,000 live births in Durham (North-East).
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What was the name of the protests where unemployed men marched to gain publicity about the horrors of the means test?
Hunger marches
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By the end of 1931 in how many towns had their been hunger marches?
30 towns
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Why did women suffer the worst during the Depression?
They were often the first to be sacked and National Insurance only covered the worker,normally the man. Meaning women had to pay for medical treatment this led to the Death rate for women aged 15-35 being twice as high in areas of high unemployment.
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Who organised the Jarrow Crusade (1936)?
The people of Jarrow (Not NUWM but they were inspired by them)
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What was the aim of the Jarrow Crusdade?
To get the government to order and buy new ships from the Jarrow shipyards and for a steelworks to be built to create jobs in the town.
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Why wasn't the march popular with Conservative government led by Stanley Baldwin or the Labour Party and Trades Union Congress (TUC) ?
Because thought ‘hunger marches’ brought bad publicity for the unemployed.
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Why was the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement NUWM also unpopular with the march?
because it was not political and refused to join up with other ‘hunger marches’ organised by the NUWM. (Indeed, the Jarrow march was organised by both Labour and Conservative supporters and called itself ‘a crusade’, not march.)
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How many men took part in the Jarrow Crusade?
200 unemployed men, who were physically fit and were requested their best clothes
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How many miles did they march from Jarrow to London?
300 miles; 21 miles between stops (a day)
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How many people had signed the petiton for the Jarrow Crusade?
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When did the Jarrow March take place?
5th October 1936
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What happened on the 2nd of November 1936?
Ellen Wilkinson gave the petition to parliament, but it was ignored and the marchers returned home by train, having achieved nothing. To make matters worse they had their dole cut because they had not been ‘available for work’ when on the march.
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What did Conservative MP John Jarvis do for the marchers?
set up a steel works in Jarrow in December 1937, but it only employed 200 men!
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What solved some of the problems Jarrow?
It was only rearmament for the Second World War which helped solve some of the problems in Jarrow.
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When did Britain Declare war on Germany?
3rd September 1939 but no actual fighting took palce until 9th of april 1940; this period became known as the 'phoney war'
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Who were the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) under command by?
Lord Gort
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By May how many men were in the BEF?
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On the 9th of April 1940, why did Hitler invade Demark and Norway?
So that he could take their raw materials of iron ore and use their ports from which to attack Britain.
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Why did the British support of Norway become a total failure?
The BEF were not properly prepared or equipped and so all troops were withdrawn by June 1940. However, some German ships were destroyed which was to prove important later when Hitler did not have enough ships to invade Britain.
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On what date did Neville Chamberlain resign (give reason) and who was his replacement?
He reisgned on the 10th of May 1940 due to the failure of the Norway invasion and was replaced with 65 year old Winston Churchill
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What is the famous Winston Churchill qoute, from his first speech as Prime minister to the House of Commons?
"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat"
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Name the two Air Raid Shelters?
Anderson Shelter and Morrison Shelter
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How many Anderson Shelters were distributed?
2 million
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What did you need to be earning to fit the criteria for a free Anderson Shelter
earning less than £250 a year (average was £300)
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Why were Anderson Shelters not popular?
People did want to sleep outside.
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Who were given Morrison Shelters?
People who lived in flats.
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How many "trekkers" were there in Plymouth each night?
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What did Home Secretary Herbet Morrisson do by Christmas 1940?
He installed toilets into the tube station, also organised tube trains with food and drink to pass through the stations used as shelters each evening and early morning. Only 15% of the London population actually used the Underground stations.
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Who supervised the blackouts?
ARP Wardens
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In December 1939 over how many british people were killed due to the Blackouts (so German bombers could not see cities from the air)
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When was the Home Guard set up and what wasit known as?
May 1940 and "Dad's Army"
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What was the purpose of the Home Guard?
To deal with a German invasion until a regular army turned up
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By 1943 how many recruits were there?
2 million members who were properly trained
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What did Gallop Polls carried out at the end of May 1940 show?
That 3% of the public believedthat Britain would lose the war
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What did Gallop Polls in October 1940 show?
That 89% of British public supported the leadership of Winston Churchill
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What did Gallop Polls from October 1940 increase to by December 1942?
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How much had the Crime rate in Britain increase to between the years 1939-1945
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In the first 8 weeks of the London Blitz how many cases of looting were there?
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How many prosecutions were there throughout the war period
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Before the war how many tons of food did Britain order?
55 million (70% of the food people bought)
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Why did rationing have to be introduced?
The germans attacked British merchant ships carrying food
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By January 1940 how many ships had they sunk ?
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By March 1940 how many ships had the German sunk?
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On what date did the British householder have to fill in a form containing the details of those who lived with them
29th September 1939
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What was everyone in Britain issued?
Identity cards and Ration books (These books contained coupons that had to be handed in to or signed by a shopkeeper every time rationed goods were bought, so people could only buy the amount they were allowed.)
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When did rationing begin?
8th January 1940
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What foods were rationed?
At first only butter, sugar and bacon were rationed but eventually all foods except seasonal fruits and vegetables were rationed.
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What were the three methods of rationing?
Rationing of foods such as butter by weight Rationing of dried goods each good was worth a different amount of points and there was a monthly maximum of 20 points per person. Government control of foods where babies, pregnant women& the sick given
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Who became this Minister of food?
Lord Woolton
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How many allotments were there in 1939 compared to 1943?
In 1939 there were 800,000. In 1943 there were 1,500,000.
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What was petrol limited for from September 1939?
Emergency's or Buisness purposes
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In June 1942 HOW did the Goverment try to stop the problem where the rich could get around rationing by eating in restaurants?
A maximum charge of 5 shillings for a meal so restaurants could not buy on the black market.
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What did you need to have to qualify for a British Restuarant in your town?
A population of over 50,000
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How much did soup, meat and veg cost in the British Restuarant?
soup cost 2d and meat&veg cost 8d
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What were the laws passed against trade on the black market?
fine up to £500 and improsenment of up to 2 years
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How many inspectors did the Ministry of Information employ to root out the black market?
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In 1944 how many ration books were stolen in Hertfordshire?
14,000 books were stolen and then sold in pubs for £5 a book
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When did rationing stop?
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In thr 1930s nearly how many women worked and why did they leave?
5 million and they left to go home when they married or had their first child.
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During the depression how did unemployment affect women?
They were pressured to give up their jobs and give it to men
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Before the war on average how much did women earn?
£2 a week
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What voluntary organisation did woman apply to, during the war?
‘Women’s Voluntary Services for Air Raid Precaution’ (WVS) set up in June 1938.
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‘What did the Women’s Voluntary Services for Air Raid Precaution’ (WVS) do at the beginning of the war and how did their role change ?
organising evacuees, making medical supplies such as bandages from old sheets and pyjamas. In 1939, it changed its name to the Women’s Voluntary Service for Civil Defence. ran mobile canteens, provided temporary homes for those who had been made home
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Why were women forced to work in 1941?
there were labour shortages as men were conscripted into the armed forces.
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What happened in December 1941 (women)?
Unmarried women aged 20-30 were conscripted to work in industry or the auxiliary armed forces.
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What happened in 1943 referring to female employment?
The age requirement for consripted work was extended to 19-43.After this time 90% of single women and 80% of married women were doing work of national importance.
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How did the goverment hep women with childcare commitments?
By providing nurseries and encouraging employers to allow women with children to job share.
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By 1944 how many nurseries were there?
1,450 nurseries compared to 104 before the war, with places for 65,000 women.
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Where were woman paid best?
Paid best working on the buses or railways.
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1943 what percentage of women occupied jobs in factories?
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In an aircraft factory how many hours did they work?
16 hour day, 7 days a week.
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Which organisation campaigned for equal treatment for Men and Women?
TUC, (Trades Union Congress)
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By 1943 over how many land girls were there in the Land Army?
had over 80,000 ‘Land Girls’ and was set up in June 1939
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How many days of Holiday did Land Girls recieve?
7 days off every year
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Name the different Armed Forces?
WRNS, WAAF & ATS. WRNS was the most popular followed by WAAF.
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By 1944 how many women were there in the armed forces?
450,000 women in these services. They did office, driving and domestic duties but did not fight.
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What propaganda film was made to encourage women to work?
the 1943 film ‘Millions Like Us’ by Launder and Gilliatt were made, which showed women enjoying their war work.
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Despite female conscriptions, how many did not do any work
nearly 10 million
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What did a Wartime Social Survey reveal about working women in their jobs?
2/3rds of working women in the war hated their jobs, which they found boring and repetitive and only worked for the money.
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How did the role of women change after the War?
By 1951 the number of women in paid work had increased.
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Where did many women get jobs after the War?
Many women found work in the new NHS (National Health Service)
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What did a goverment survey of 1947 reveal about women in a work
It showed how 58% of women believed that married women should not go out to work.
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Why hadn't women career oppurtunites improved after War?
working in metal manufacturing and engineering came to an end. Also the government shut down nurseries after the war.
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How did report show an unequal society for working women after the war?
By the 1960s 38% of women, by 1961, only 15% doctors and 3% of lawyers were women.
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What was the purpose of the Ministry of Information which formed in Septermber 1939
To regulate all news and propaganda
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How many members were there in the Ministry of information?
3000 people worked for the Ministry of Information
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Why was the Ministry of Information not very successful at first?
They hired suthors to write leaflets some were not so pleased with it; e.g Agatha Christie refused to do it because she felt she could only write what she believed in. Loud speakers didn't get around to enough. Leaflets for Germany, had errors
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Give one example of how the Ministry of information improved?
The Mass observation came to place, in which the huge oppinion survey kept track of the oppinions and feelings of the gerneral public; reporting how they felt.
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Give an example of how the Ministry of information cencored pieces of the new broadcast?
The goveremnt covered up reports of ships sunk by Japanese Kamikaze pilots, so morale wouldn't be damaged.
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What types of photos were banned by the Ministry of information?
Those showing dead children,and one of bomb which had broken through into an underground station.
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Which newspaper was banned by the Ministry of information in 1941 and why?
The communist newspaper the daily worker was banned, because it opposed the war.
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How did the Moi keep radar a secret?
By telling people that RAF pilots had been eating carrots and could see in the dark.
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Why did the MOI rarely interfere with the BBC, which they had control over?
The bbc voluntarily controlled the flow of information in a sensible way. They tended to report only facts and avoided comment.
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When the BBC expanded in 1939 how many transmitters and employees did they have?
23 transmitters 4233 employees. Almost every family had access to a radio.
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Why did people all over Europe listen to the BBC?
They listened because they believed them. Especially reporters like Richard Dimbleby and Frank Gillard who sent back exciting reports of the forces in action.
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When the BBC broadcasted the postscripts programme to raise morale; which famous writer spoke?
JB Priestley who did a series of inspirational talks, beginning in June 1940
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What did the 1940 "Music While You Work" proramme help imporve morale?
The show was played in factories to keep 8 million production workers cheerful
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What types of films did the MOI make?
short, information films about how to cope with the war and patriotic films which were biased such as ‘Henry V’ starring Laurence Olivier, which was made in 1943 before the D-Day invasion.
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What was Black Propaganda?
where the government aims messages at the enemy population, trying to confuse or demoralise them.
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How is William Joyce an example of Black Propaganda?
broadcast 'news' from Germany every night, telling the British people that the war was hopeless and that they were being defeated. His posh, sing-song accent, led people to nickname him Lord Haw-Haw. 6 million people tuned in to hear him every nig
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What did the Political Warefare Executives (PWE) do,to contribute to Black Propaganda?
which sent 'black propaganda' to Germany e.g they dropped on Germany 'Down With Hitler' stickers.
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What did the evacuation show the rich and middle class?
that many people lived in abject poverty, this led to demands for a more equal society.
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In June 1941, what did Labour goverment minister Arthur Greenwood set up?
A committee to look at the welfare system in Britain.
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On what date was the Beveridge report published and how many copies were sold within days?
1st of December 1942 and over 630,000
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What are the "Five Giant Evils" ?
Poverty, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, Idleness
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How many people voted in the General election of 1945?
24 million people voted, even though 33 milion peopel were eligible to vote
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What were the two main parties in the election of 1945?
Churchill's conservative party and Attlee's labour party.
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From what date's did voting begin and end after the war?
5th of July 1945 and ended on the 19th of July to allow soldiers from overseas to vote.
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During the 1945 election what mistake did Churchill make?
He warned the British people that Labour's socialist policies could be dangerous, he said "No Socialist system can work without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo."
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Why was Churchill's comment on the labour party's policies highly offensive?
As the Labout party supported Churchill in the wartime coalition goverment.
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Whenwere the election results revealed?
26th of July 1945
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How many seats did the Labour Party win ?
363 seates this was 48% of the vote
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Where was unemployment levels worse?


South Wales, Clydeside, North West And North East Ireland.

Card 3


Which older industries were in decline & why?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What policy did the British goverment of the 1920's follow which made their situation worse?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What percentage of miners and shipbuilders were unemployed by 1932?


Preview of the front of card 5
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