Affluence of the 1950s

Topics: Harold Wilson, Labour Party, Conservative Party Pages: 4 (1609 words) Published: November 13, 2012
AfTo what extent does the affluence of the 1950s account for the Conservative election victories of 1955 and 1959? Hannah van Teutem.

The affluence of Britain in the 1950s was a large reason as to why the Conservative Party gained victory in both the 1955 and 1959 election. Nevertheless, there were other factors which also had an impact on the success of the party. For example, there were the different issues with the weaknesses and the strengths of the Conservative party. Following this, there were the weaknesses of the opposition; the Labour party. Finally, there were the conflictions with the Conservative Party’s social policies, and other surrounding aspects. Judging these factors, it seems massively clear that the affluence and the rise of the economy in Britain, was a large factor for the Conservative’s victories.

Affluence in Britain majorly contributed to the victories of the Conservative party. The 1950s was a time of economic progression; more people had money to spend, their pockets, which had been empty for many years after the war were finally being filled. The end of austerity was nigh. Churchill’s government was able to end rationing, which had been a burden to the public for decades, and had been sustained for years after the war had actually ended. It was a welcome cut. The government had also promised to build more houses, and they kept this promise, and fulfilled the pledge of building 300,000 houses a year. This meant they then had an achievement on record, which many members of the public could identify, and recognised as a success for the party. Following this, the Conservative party was able to cut taxes, which increased public spending. Again, people had more money to spend. Churchill was still the ‘wartime hero’, and the growth of the economy led the party with confidence into the eyes of the public. During the 1950s, there was full employment, and it was a period where jobs could be found and the economy was being boosted. In the...
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