Labour 'Changed the Face of Britain' Between the Years of 1945-51. Discuss

Topics: Labour Party, World War I, British Empire Pages: 3 (944 words) Published: September 27, 2010
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 figures had been prominent during the wartime coalition government, they gained 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...
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