The Making of Modern Britain 1- Conservative Governments

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What does 'First-past-the-post' mean?
a voting system whereby a candidate with the most votes in each consituency wins a seat in parliament.
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How many seats did Conservatives win in the 1951 election? How many did Labour win?
Conservative- 321 , Labour- 295
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What did Labour politicians think of Churchill?
A tired, old force. Conservatives would struggle with economic difficulties Britain faced. Thought they would still be in power.
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What does 'one-nation conservative' mean?
all classes in society have obligations to one another. Particular responsibility for those who are better off to ensure the well-being of those not so well off.
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What was wrong with Winston Churchill?
Old man (80 when he retired in 1955), had many serious ailments, stroke in 1953 left him with speech impediment.
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What did Churchill think of himself?
An international statesman, not a domestic politican. spent more time abroad in favourite holiday spots than at Downing Street.
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What was his priority?
To ensure no new conflict broke out, particularly due to the dangers of nuclear war.
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What was Churchill's real motives in Parliament
his policy was "houses, red meat and not getting scuppered".
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Who was left in-charge when Churchill was out of office?
Acting PM- Anthony eden, and key ministers e.g. Chancellor- Rab Butler and Housing minsiter- Harold Macmillian.
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What tensions were among the Conservative party?
Rab Butler, Macmillian and Eden did not get on well. Rivalries lasted for 13 years until Labour took office.
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What tensions were there betwen Eden and Churchill?
Eden was Churchill's heir, an Eden was becoming impatient to step down
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When did Eden take power?
1955
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How much did Eden increase the Conservative majority by?
17 seats to 60. 345 seats overall for Tories.
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Who became chancellor and foreign secutary?
Rab Butler was Chancellor and Macmillian was Foreign Secutary
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What was Eden's background in politics?
Foreign policy.
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What did some members of Conservatives do after six months of Eden?
Started to voice discontent due to a lack of experience and interest in domestic affairs.
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What did Eden have a lack of?
Experience with economic affairs and was anxious to make decisions
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What didn't Macmillian do?
Refused to move to the Treasury under Eden.
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What soured Eden's reputation as leader?
The Suez Crisis of 1956, taking military action in Suez Canal and ending in disaster.
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Rally against Suez?
30,000 protesters anti-war rally. November 1956
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Why was Suez a political disaster as well as a diplomatic crisis?
Labour party attacked him in Parliament and accused him of lying to the HofC.
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Why did Suez cause problems among the Conservative party?
Colonial minister Anthony Nutting resigned from the cabinet. Chief whip Edward Heath opposed and 40 toher MP's went into rebellion.
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What did USA think of Suez?
Upset them, and the pressure by them exposed Britain's finacial weakness.
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When did Eden resign?
Eden could not recover from Suez and resigned early 1957 over ill health.
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When did Macmillian take power?
Took over when Eden resigned in early 1957.
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Where was SuperMac a MP for?
Durham
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What else did Macmillian want?
wanted to join the EEC
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What was restored under Macmilian?
Party unity, without any lasting splits. Economic prosperity, which gained support from voters.
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Who became Home Secutary?
Rab Butler
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General Election 1959. What happened?
'SuperMac' as he was nicknamed led Conservatives to a comfortable victory. Pushed Conservative Majority up to 100 seats.Conservatives now had 365 seats.
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Did Coonservative's accept reforms by previous Labour?
Yes, attitudes towards industry, trade unions and social reforms were very different from the 1930's, and people felt the need for state interventation and planning.
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The NHS
Had already assummed iconic status. this was partly by conviction but also necessity . New government had accepted the existance of the so-called post war consensus.
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In the manifesto, how many new homes were promised to be built in the year?
300,000. Would re-build the housing stock destroyed by the war. Replace the slum many lived in before the war.
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Education under the Conservatives
Continued the Tripartite system under the Butler Act 1944.
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What was the Tripartite System?
Made up of 3 schools, Grammar, Technical and Secondary Modern.
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What was the Grammar school?
For the intellectually gifted. Children had to take the 11+ at the end of school to decde which schhool they would attend. Those who passed got to go to a grammar school.
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What was the techincal school?
Concentrate on practical and vocational skills
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What was the Secondary Modern?
Gives basic education for the majority.
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Chuchill had econoomic restraints. What schools were there under him?
Just Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns.
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At the beginning of 1960, what were people starting to question?
Whether the system was or not.
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What did the Clean Air Act of 1956 do?
Aimed to prevent the smog of the early 1950's.
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What did the Housing and Factory Acts want to achieve?
Aimed to improve living and working conditions .
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What was Butler comapred to other Home Secutaries?
More liberal than mnay other and started to take on more controverisal socail issues.
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What did the Homocide Act of 1957 want to achieve?
Restricted when the Death penalty would be imposed.
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What did the Wolfenden Commision recommend?
Homosexual behaviour should no longer be a criminal act.
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Why didn't Labour win any elections?
Labour were suffering from deep internal divisions and these problmes intensified in the 50's.
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Who were the key figures involved in the Labour party split?
Aneurin ('Nye') Bevan and Hugh Gaitskell.
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Who was Bevan?
The minister of health in the Attlee Government and was the architect for the NHS. Left of the Labour Party . Resigned in 1951 over the prescription charges.
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Who was Gaitskell?
Chancellor from 1950 and 51. Introduced prescription charges. Right of Labour Party. Leader in 1955, defeating Bevan in election.
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What did the Left of Labour want?
wanted the party to be more socialist. Bevan opposed Britain developing nuclear weapons in 1957, but later on, said his opposition to unilateral nuclear disarmerment.
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What is unilateral nuclear disarmerment?
the policy for renoucing the use of possesion of nuclear weapons wuthout waiting for any international consultation or argument.
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What did Bevan claim about unilateral nuclear disarmament?
'It would send a British Foreign Secutary naked into the conference-chamber.'
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What did Labour left-wingers do instead?
Joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Links between CND and Labour turned some voters away from Labour.
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What were the Trade unions like?
Unions were happy with full employment. Leaders were all fairly moderate.
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In 1956, who became leader of TGWU (Transport and General Workers Union)?
Frank Cousins. Led fierce union opposition to Gaitskell over Britain's nuclear weapons.
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Despite this, Labour entered 1959 election with some optimism? But what happened instead?
Gaitshell was an effective campaigner, who promoted moderate polciies . However, defeat was a genuine surprise and a disapointment.
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Where were discussions over the future of Labour held?
Blackpool in 1959 and Scarborough in 1960.
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What happened at Blackpool in 1959?
Just before general election. Gaitskell put forward Clause IV.
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What was Clause IV?
A clause that committed the party to nationalisation.
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What is nationalisation?
State ownership of key industries . The demand for the state to control 'the commanding heights of the economy' had been key principle of Labour since the beginning.
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However, who opposed it?
the left wing and some union leaders.
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What happened because of opposition?
Gaitskell backed down withot putting in a vote.
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Why did Scarborough 1960 become famous?
Hugh Gaitskell gave an emotonal speech trying to convince the party to reject unilateral nuclear disarmament.
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What happened about the vote on UND?
Lost in 1960 but won a year later.
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What happened to Bevan under Gaitskell?
Bevan was made shadow colonial then shadow foreign secretary by Gaitskell and in 1959 he was elected deputy leader of the Labour Party,
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When did Bevan die?
Died in 1960 of cancer, having made his reputation as father of the NHS.
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1960- how was Labour's position?
Slowly improved after 1960, and became more united.
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1960-how was Conservative's position?
Cultural shifts in the country made the public more critical on Tories.
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Who became leader of Labour after Gaitskell died in 1963?
Harold Wilson.
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From 1962, how was Macmillian's premiership?
It began to slip.
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What was Macmillan's explanation for causes of political ups and downs?
'Events, dear boy, events.'
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When did Macmillan resign?
October 1963
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What happened to cause his resignation?
Many different events coming together to weaken his grip on the government.
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In response to the problems the government was facing, what did Macmillan do?
Major reshuffle of the cabinet in July 1962, sacked a third of it.
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What did this become known as?
'The Night of the Long Knives'. Sacked 7 ministers.
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What did JFK's arrival as US president do to the government?
Made the elderly ministers look out of touch with the rapidly changing Britain.
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What other issues were there in Britian at the time?
A badly ailing economy and the loss of a supposedly safe by-election
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What was the final straw for the Macmillan government to reshuffle the cabinet?
The defeat in the once safe Tory seat of Orpington in a by-election in April 1962.
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What did Selwyn Lloyd say about Macmillan's chancellor ?
'He did not have the appearance of a man with fire in his belly'
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What did the Night of the Long Knives plan to do?
Rejuvenate the goverment but it actually weakened it. Macmmillan was made to look clumsy and out of touch.
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In the early 1960's, what came about that also detremented the government?
A series of spy scandels.
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What was the Vassall inquiry 1962?
John Vassall, a civil servant, was discovered to have been blackmailed on the basis of his homosexuality, to pass information to the Soviet Union.
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What was the Profumo Affair in 1963?
Secutary of State John Profumo lied about his actions to Parliament and to the PM.
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Who was Christine Keeler?
The woman Profumo was havin an affair with, who was also having an affair with a Soviet spy.
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What did Macmillan resign over?
Over ill health after having an abdominal operation that put him into hospital for weeks.
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Why was their issues over who would replace Macmillan?
M hhad not prepared for anyone to suceed him, so the Conservatives faced a power struggle between Rab Butler, Lord Hailsham and Lord Alec Douglas Home.
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Who won?
Alec Douglas-Home.
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What did Alec Douglas-Home have to do to take premiership?
Renouce his peerage.
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Card 2

Front

How many seats did Conservatives win in the 1951 election? How many did Labour win?

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Conservative- 321 , Labour- 295

Card 3

Front

What did Labour politicians think of Churchill?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does 'one-nation conservative' mean?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What was wrong with Winston Churchill?

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