Discuss the Key Political and Social Issues of the Post-War Era (Ie. During the Attle Government 1945-1951)

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  • Topic: Labour Party, Harold Wilson, Clement Attlee
  • Pages : 3 (1000 words )
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  • Published : March 10, 2013
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Political issues:
Women played a major role in WW2 and were permanent in the industries now. •Political conflict between the war time coalition governments Churchill PM Conservative, Attlee DPM Labour: 1)The war-time coalition between the Conservatives (led by PM Winston Churchill) and Labour (led by Deputy PM Clement Attlee) broke up in 1945 over the question of the nature of the British society in the future. 2)The Conservatives would have been happy for a return to the inter-war practice of leaving private enterprise to its own devices and limiting the state to tasks that were absolutely essential in maintaining public order and safety. 3)Labour, on the other hand, won the 1945 election on a distinctly socialist Manifesto. Key elements: a)full employment (easy to achieve as there was so much reconstruction work to do) b)full state involvement in the managing all aspects of the economy c)subsidised housing (Callaghan: “We built the Spitfires, now we can build the houses.”) d)Nationalisation agenda: industries nationalised during the war remain nationalised, other new vital service providers (e.g. BOAC and BEA) founded as nationalised industries

Conservative backlash: (1951-1964)
1)While the people enjoyed the new welfare state, the Cold War also made them afraid of the Russians and their version of a “workers’ paradise” (Stalinist advertisement). Hence, the Labour party with their socialist rhetoric lost ground as people began (wrongly) to wonder whether Attlee would take them into the Communist political camp. In fact, there was still some bi-partisan approach to foreign policy as both parties knew that without the USA’s continued help the post-war recovery effort would be doomed. Russia would not have been in a position to fill this gap, due to their own extremely severe war losses. 2)The Conservatives, on the other hand, took on the commitment to continue key features of the welfare state – and indeed did so under Prime Ministers...
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