Between 1945 and 1951 the Labour Government changed the face of Britain. Discuss. Between the years 1945 and 1951 the entire shape of Britain’s economy, society and government changed. After World War 2, Britain was left in economic and financial depression. Countries such as Japan and Germany, left in utter ruin from the war, ironically, were able to rebuild their economies faster, and better than we could improve ours. It was felt that a great change was required in Britain, and perhaps it was that feeling that led to the fall of the conservatives and the beginning of one of the greatest governments in England’s history.
The Atlee government of 45-51 has perhaps been slightly overlooked due to comparisons to the war time leader- Winston Churchill. But although Atlee is so often underestimated in his contribution to the progression of a land ‘fit for heroes’, it still remains that England was dramatically changed due to his time in office. It is achievements such as; the Welfare State and the founding of NATO in arguably the hardest 6 years a government has ever had to face, that makes Atlee, as a prime minister, so memorable and frankly- incredible.
As Labour fgures had been prominent during the wartime coalition government, they ained credit and popularity while the Conservative Prime Minister focused on the war effort. In late 1941, Churchill asked William Beverage and his committee to create ideas of reform- out of which came ‘The Beverage Report’ (which remains today one of the single most important documents concerning social policy of the twentieth century). Despite Churchill honourably asking these officials to consider such issues whilst a war was being fought, it was Atlee’s labour government that introduced the National Insurance Act in July 1948.
This began the drastic changes of Britain in these years and ultimately kick started ‘The Welfare State’. It created compulsory payments by the employer, employee and government, out of which payments would be repaid in times of sickness, unemployment, maternity expenses, widowhood and retirement. Other acts that followed continued the change in Britain, such as the Industrial Injuries Act, National Health Service Act and National Assistance Act. Atlee’s Government, as well as creating change, also focused on other aspects of society he felt the labour party could improve.
Acts such as the Education Act of 1944 and the Family Allowance Act of 1945, were only truly implemented under Atlee’s Government despite being introduced during the war. These two laws focused on the fairness of Children’s lives, compulsory and free education and payments to Mothers who could not afford to support all of their children- better known now as ‘Benefits’. These reforms were perhaps not a social revolution, as they did not seem to change People of the time, although all the more happy for it, seemed to agree that it was not a revolution.
In regards to Labour ‘changing the face of Britain’, I think, concerning ‘The Welfare State’ the very fact it is still the basis , essence of our Country’s policies oday, and that no party has abolished nor disputed the need for it, is testament to its significance. Labour brought about change in other areas too, such as the rather urgent and dyer issue of the economy. The key issues Labour were to introduce were Nationalisation and Keynesian economics. Labour felt is was any government’s, and so their right to direct and control key aspects of Britain’s economy.
Labour felt the most efficient and just way to carry out such an action would be to Nationalise major industries within the LJK. These involved: Fuel and Power Industries, iron and steel, and inland transport. Due to the economic depression, nationalisation seemed to work relatively well, other than in the steel industry- and eventually the issue of opposition in the steel industry gave the conservatives sometime to unite against after the previous election disaster.
Keynesian economics in theory, is brilliant, the idea of maintaining the demand for goods and services and to avoid industrial decline. Its main intention; to keep employment high. If people are employed they have money, so they purchase goods, the economy grows and this creates wealth. The role of the Labour government was now to spend money to create employment and demand thus ausing inflation and hopefully strengthening the economy. But the Labour Government was yet to face it’s largest problem.
After the war, the borrowing from the United States and the general costs of war left us with a debt of E4198 million. And it was in this area that Labour were less successful. Their theory was a loan of $6000 million from USA and Canada- hoping that as the economy recovered, the loans would be easier and easier to pay back. Here, they were wrong. Labour had little choice but to resort to Austerity measures, such as rationing remaining, lack of consumer goods, and no luxuries- it is perhaps here that labour ost their popularity somewhat.
Despite the end of the Atlee Government, due to the publics dissatisfaction of their promises, divisions within the party, and still, financial difficulties, there is no doubt Labour changed the ‘Face of Britain’. After taking part in a war we thought little chance of winning, Britain was left almost in economic ruin. It is Labour’s near social revolution that kept Britain going, and built her into the country of equality and unity she is today. Historians may argue of how significant the changes they made to our country were, but none could argue their insignificance.
Please write a short commentary on the obituary for Dr. Maccoby, drawing from course material in readings and lectures to interpret how gender affects life and work, even for a very prominent expert in her field. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/22/obituaries/eleanor-maccoby-dead.html
Essay Help “>Essay Help