As level british history



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AS LEVEL BRITISH HISTORY
Unit 1: Britain, 1906–1951 HIS1L

How effectively did governments respond to new challenges they faced?

Introduction

This unit provides an overview of a period of rapid and significant change affecting British politics, society and the economy. Economic modernisation and social changes led to demands for new forms of politics. The Labour Party emerged to play an important role, whilst the established political parties also evolved. There was increased pressure to provide votes for women. Two world wars and the great depression of the 1930s intensified the pace of social and political change.



Content

Britain, 1906–1914

• The reasons for the ‘Liberal landslide’ in 1906

• The ‘New Liberalism’: social, constitutional and political reforms to 1914

Britain, 1914–1929

• The political and economic impact of the First World War on Britain, 1914–1918

• Social change as a consequence of the war, particularly in regard to the position of women

• The role and importance of Lloyd George in domestic politics to 1923

• Problems of the economy and industrial relations under Conservative and Labour governments, 1923–1929, including the General Strike

Britain, 1929–1940

• The policies of Ramsay MacDonald and the second Labour Government in dealing with the economic crisis, 1929–1931

• The collapse of the Labour government and the formation of the National Government in 1931

• The impact of the 1931 crisis on the Labour Party to 1940

• The work of the National Government in dealing with economic crisis and political extremism

Britain, 1940–1951

• The policies and personalities of the wartime coalition government

• The impact of total war upon society and attitudes

• The reasons for the ‘Labour landslide’ in 1945

• Economic crisis and recovery, 1945–1951

• The achievements of the Attlee government and the birth of the Welfare State





Factual Knowledge

Concepts

Key Issues / Likely subjects for essay questions

Britain, 1906–1914








Key Issue • The reasons for the ‘Liberal landslide’ in 1906
Gen. Election 1906 – reasons for Liberal landslide, incl:-

  • Joseph Chamberlain’s Tariff Reform proposals split the Conservatives and re-united the Liberals 1903

  • Cons record on social reform, Boer War, “Chinese slavery,” 1902 Education Act, 1904 Licensing Act

  • Balfour’s leadership

  • New Liberalism and promises of social reform

  • Lib-Lab Pact 1903

  • “Swing of the pendulum”

  • First Past the Post system

Tariff Reform and Imperial Preference


Free Trade
First Past the Post system


From Past Papers:-

Explain why the Liberals won a landslide victory in the 1906 general election. (12 marks)


Explain why the Conservatives lost the General Election of 1906. (12 marks)
Explain why free trade was an issue in the 1906 General Election campaign. (12 marks)
Also:-

How important was the Conservatives’ record in government between 1900 and 1905 in explaining their defeat in the General Election in 1906? (24 marks)


How important was tariff reform issue explaining the Liberals’ landslide victory in the 1906 General Election? (24 marks)

Key Issue • The ‘New Liberalism’: social, constitutional and political reforms to 1914
Social Reforms

Reasons for Liberal Social Reforms:-



  • New Liberal ideas

  • Social investigators, eg Booth & Rowntree

  • Political competition, eg Conservative tariff reform on the right, eg new Labour Party on the left

Victorian Poor Law / workhouses / indoor and outdoor relief


Old Age Pensions Act 1908 (NB very important)
Peoples' Budget 1909
Labour Exchanges Act 1909
Trade Boards Act 1909
National Insurance Act (Parts 1 & 2) 1911 (NB very important)
General knowledge of various childrens’ and other reforms

Laisser faire


Collectivism
New Liberalism

Non-contributory


Redistributive (progressive) taxation

Contributory insurance




From Past Papers:-

Explain why the Liberal government introduced reforms affecting children in the years 1906 to 1908. (12 marks)


How successful were Liberal social reforms in dealing with poverty in Britain from 1908 to 1914? (24 marks)
How successful were the social reforms introduced by the Liberals in the years 1906 to 1914 in improving the lives of British people? (24 marks)
How important was the aim of reducing poverty in explaining the Liberal governments’ social reforms in the years 1906 to 1914? (24 marks)
Also:-

Explain why the Liberal governments attempted to reduce poverty in Britain from 1906 to 1914. (12 marks)


How important was the introduction of Old Age Pensions in 1908 to the Liberal government’s social reform programme as a whole between 1906 and 1914? (24 marks)

Constitutional & Political Reforms
Reasons for and outcomes of Peers v People Crisis 1909-1911
Gen. Elections 1910 (x2)
Parliament Act 1911
Payment for MPs 1911
Irish Home Rule Bill 1912 (postponed by war in 1914)
Trade Union Act 1913 (reversing the Osborne Judgement of 1908)
Suffragette Campaigns (no reform before 1914 to give women votes)

House of Lords and its function

Irish Home Rule


Unionism
Suffragettes
Suffragists

From Past Papers:-

How successful were the Liberal governments, in the years 1906-1914, in bringing about political and constitutional reform? (24 marks)


Also:-

Explain why the House of Lords rejected the “People’s Budget” in 1909 (12 marks)


How successful was the Liberal government in dealing with the constitutional crisis of 1909-11? (24 marks)

Britain, 1914–1929








Key Issue • The political and economic impact of the First World War on Britain, 1914–1918
The political impact of the First World
Asquith's wartime Liberal government Aug. 1914 - May 1915 and its initial wartime policies (Kitchener's recruitment campaign, DoRA, "Business as Usual" & dilution agreements)
Shells Crisis, reasons for and the formation of Asquith's coalition 1915
Asquith's coalition May 1915 - Dec. 1916

- its composition and its wartime policies (especially Ministry of Munitions, Conscription debate - Military Service Act 1916)


Asquith overthrown by Lloyd George & Bonar Law. Liberal split 1916
Lloyd George's wartime coalition Dec. 1916 - Dec. 1918 - its composition and wartime policies (especially collectivism, new ministries, convoys, rationing)
Lloyd George's preparations for post-war Britain (especially new ministries, "homes fit for heroes," Fisher Act 1918, Representation of the People Act 1918)
Lib split (over leadership and ideology – laissez faire v collectivism) and disastrous effect of war and 1918 election on the Liberal Party
Role of Conservative & Unionist and Labour Parties in relation to the above and reasons for their growing strength
Easter Rising (1916) and reasons for the decline of the Irish Nationalist Party in favour of Sinn Fein
Coupon Election 1918 and its effects on the parties



Laisser faire


Collectivism
Socialism / class struggle
Coalition



From Past Papers:-

Explain why conscription was introduced in 1916. (12 marks)

[cross-ref. war economy below]
Explain why British governments took control of the economy during the First World War. (12 marks)

[cross-ref. war economy below]


Explain why the British government introduced the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) in 1914. (12 marks)

[cross-ref. war economy below]


Also:-

Explain why Liberal Party split during the First World War. (12 marks)


Why were there coalition governments in Britain during the First World War? (12 marks)
How important was the role of Lloyd George in the introduction of state collectivism during the First World War? (24 marks)

The economic impact of the First World War
Some statistics (especially labour, shell production, wages, prices, trade union membership, strikes, government tax income & expenditure)
Detailed knowledge of increasing govt. management of the economy, eg:-

  • Defence of the Realm Act 1914

  • "Business as Usual”

  • Dilution Agreements 1915

  • Ministry of Munitions 1915

  • Increasing state control over the economy from 1914 (especially unified control of the railways, McKenna's first war budget 1915 & ship requisitioning)

  • Collectivism under Lloyd George's wartime coalition 1916 - 1918 (especially new government ministries, rationing, both voluntary & compulsory, state controllers for the coal & cotton industries, Department of Food Production & requisitioning of all shipping)

  • Post-war planning (especially "homes fit for heroes," ministries for health, pensions and reconstruction & Fisher Act 1918 for education)

Detailed knowledge of problems in supplies of labour for industry and how this was met, particularly the role of women (see Role of Women below)


Inflation in prices, rent and wages
Detailed knowledge of how the government paid for the war (especially taxation & debt)
Role of trade unions, agreements not to strike and Dilution Agreements 1915
Examples of war-time strikes and worker discontent (eg over inflation)

Inflation


Laisser faire


Collectivism
Restrictive Practices
Dilution

From Past Papers:-
Explain why conscription was introduced in 1916. (12 marks)

[cross-ref. wartime politics above]


Explain why British governments took control of the economy during the First World War. (12 marks)

[cross-ref. war economy below]


Also:-
Explain the reasons for the greatly increased production of munitions in Britain from spring 1915 to the end of the War. (12 marks)
How successfully did the British economy cope with the demands of the First World War? (24 marks)

Key Issue • Social change as a consequence of the war, particularly in regard to the position of women
Pre-war role of women by social class and geographical region
Pre-war trends towards emancipation of women (including Suffragettes)
Emmeline Pankhurst's "Right to serve" campaign 1915
Government recruitment drive for women labour - statistics, numbers, industries
detailed knowledge of effects in terms of status, pay, attitudes, self-esteem, temporary / permanent effects, etc
Representation of the People Act 1918
Long term results - Role of women in post war Britain – change and continuity – eg. Advances in politics, work opportunities, personal freedom – but continuing barriers to further progress, examples of inequality & traditional attitudes
Impact on social classes:-
More equality

Reasons for reduction of extreme poverty & differences between unskilled & skilled working classes (eg wartime full employment, dilution, decline in domestic service, reduced pay differentials between skilled and unskilled workers)


Reasons for reducing living standards of middle & upper classes (eg rising taxes, difficulty finding servants, rationing etc)
Opportunities for social mobility
Shared suffering across class boundaries (eg experiences in the trenches, casualties, rationing
Representation of the People Act 1918
Effect on freedom
State restrictions (eg DoRA 1914, Conscription 1916, propaganda & censorship, restrictions on drinking, taxation & rationing)
Positive effects (eg Representation of the People Act 1918, full employment, greater equality)
Which of these continued in post war Britain?
Beliefs & Attitudes
Public role of the churches and effects on faith, long-term decline in church attendances, pacifism and conscientious objectors
Undermined faith in superiority of European values and civilization – increased anti-imperialism

Separate spheres

Dilution

Civil liberties



From Past Papers:-
How important was the work done by women on the home front during the First World War in changing the position of women in British society by 1928? (24 marks)
How important was the First World War in changing the role of women in Britain by 1918? (24 marks)
How far were the changes to the role of women in British society in the years 1914 to 1929 due to the impact of the First World War? (24 marks)
Also:-
Explain the reasons why some women, but not all women, were granted the vote for Parliament at the end of the First World War. (12 marks)
Explain the ways in which women contributed to Britain’s war effort between 1914 and 1918. (12 marks)
How important were developments during the First World War in reducing class divisions in Britain? (24 marks)
How successful was government policy in ensuring that the burdens of the First World War were shared equally across different sections of society? (24 marks)

Key Issue • The role and importance of Lloyd George in domestic politics to 1923
Prime Minister of post war coalition – Coupon Election 1918, Lib split, make-up of the coalition, LG’s role and relationship with Conservatives, achievements, criticisms and reasons for his fall:-

  • Relative failures and achievements of post-war reconstruction- eg. Coalition election manifesto, impact of economic situation, Unemployment Insurance Act 1920, Fisher’s Education Act 1918Addison’s Housing achievements & failures, Geddes Axe.

  • L-G’s handling of Ireland – eg. historical, religious roots of problems, Sinn Fein in 1918 election, Govt. of Ireland Act 1920, Civil War, IRA & Black & Tans, peace negotiations & Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921, subsequent attitudes & criticisms of the settlement inc. in Ireland & in Cons. Party.

  • LG’s handling of industrial problems 1918-21 & avoidance of general strike in 1921

  • Awareness of L-G’s heavy involvement at Versailles Peace Conference in 1919.

  • Honours Scandal, Chanak & their impact on L-G’s standing with public, media & Cons. Coalition partners.

  • Carlton Club meeting

Coalition

L-G “prisoner of the Conservatives?”
“Presidential” style of leadership


From Past Papers:-
Why did the Lloyd George Coalition win the General Election of 1918? (12 marks)
How important were Lloyd George’s own mistakes in explaining his fall from office in 1922? (24 marks)
How successful was Lloyd George’s government in dealing with domestic problems in the years 1918 to 1922? (24 marks)
Also:-

Explain why Lloyd George fell from office in 1922. (12 marks)


How important was the nature of Lloyd George’s relationship with the Conservative Party in explaining his fall from office in 1922? (24 marks)



Key Issue • Problems of the economy and industrial relations under Conservative and Labour governments, 1923–29, including the General Strike
Underlying economic problems1923-29

Effects of the First World War, eg national debt, post war boom and slump 1918-22, overinvestment in staple industries, foreign competition, growth of trade unions.


Reasons for decline of staple industries – coal, iron & steel, shipbuilding and textiles.
Positive developments – new industries, Central Electricity Generating Board 1926 & National Grid, service sector, falling cost of living & rising “real” wages and standards of living for those in work.
North-South divide and relative prosperity of south-east and midlands.
Conservative & Labour governments 1922-4
End of Cons govt. 1923. Baldwin’s early election on tariff reform/ protection.
Background awareness of rise of Labour Party – eg. Pre-WW1 foundations, impact of WW1, growth of TUs, Rep. of People Act 1918, Lib. Decline.
1923 Election and reasons for Labour’s opportunity to form a minority first govt.
Labour’s record in office and policies – Soviet trade treaty, Dawes Plan, public works, Wheatley’s housing reforms, subsidies to Imperial Airways.
End of Labour govt 1924, early election, Zinoviev letter.
General Strike 1926
Causes of general strike in 1926 – eg. Long term structural decline in staple industries, particular problems of the coal industry, foreign competition and pressure for wage cuts

eg. Return to Gold standard 1925, Red Friday 1925, Samuel Commission & Report 1926, roles of owners, miners, TUC, govt.


MacDonald’s refusal to support General Strike
Propaganda war in 1926 – eg. Portrayal of general strike as constitutional challenge, British Gazette & British Worker
Reasons for the calling off of the strike by TUC
Outcome of general strike 1926 - eg. Trade Disputes Act 1927, reduced TU membership & strikes
Improved industrial relations after 1926 – eg strengthened position of moderates such as Bevin
Conservative Govt 1924-29
Handling of events leading to General Strike and handling of the Gen. Strike itself [cross-ref. above].
Other policies and assessment of successes ad failures, eg. Return to Gold Standard 1925, canceling of Anglo-Soviet trade agreement, Chamberlain’s reforms of local govt, pensions & council house building, equal voting rights for women 1928.
1929 election result & reasons for (narrow) Cons defeat/Lab victory.

Trade cycles
Staple industries
New industries
Service sector
Inflation & deflation
“Real” wages

Minority govt.


Labour “fit to govern?”
Red Scare

Staple industries


Structural decline
Trade Union Congress (TUC)
General strike
Constitutional challenge




From Past Papers:-
Why did the Labour Government fall from power in 1924? (12 marks)
Also:-
How successful were the policies of Conservative and Labour governments 1922-29 in dealing with Britain’s economic problems? (24 marks)


From Past Papers:-
Explain why the TUC called a General Strike in 1926. (12 marks)
How far was the failure of the General Strike due to the actions of the Conservative government? (24 marks)
Also:-

Why did the General Strike fail in 1926? (12 marks)


How important was the decline of Britain’s staple industries in explaining the industrial unrest of the period 1918-29? (24 marks)
How important was growing trade union strength and militancy in explaining the industrial unrest of the period 1918-29? (24 marks)



Britain, 1929–1940








Key Issue • The policies of Ramsay MacDonald and the second Labour Government in dealing with the economic

crisis, 1929–31

Economic Crisis 1929-31

Long term problems – structural decline of staple industries, north south divide, long term structural unemployment, foreign competition.


World trade depression from 1929 – Collapse in British exports, rising unemployment (until 1932).
Financial crisis – govt. budget deficit, European banking crisis and the “Run on the Bank of England” 1931.
The 2nd Labour Govt 1929-31
Second Labour government – 1929 Gen. Election issues & results, minority govt., govt policy successes/failures eg. Greenwood’s Housing Act, economic policy debate within cabinet inc. Mosley Memo. 1930, Snowden & retrenchment, TUC opposition to cuts.

Socialism


Labour “fit to govern?”
Debate over Economy – eg. Orthodox treasury view, Keynes, Tariffs & protection
The Run on the Bank

From Past Papers:-
Why did the Labour government find it so difficult to deal with the financial crisis of 1931? (12 marks)

[cross-ref. with collapse of Lab. Govt. below]


Explain why the Labour government fell from office in 1931. (12 marks) [cross-ref. with the Collapse of the Labour Govt., below]
How far was the downfall of the second Labour Government in 1931 due to rising unemployment? (24 marks) [cross-ref. Collapse of the Labour Govt. below]
Also:-
Explain why unemployment was so high in Britain between 1929 and 1935. (12 marks)



Key Issue • The collapse of the Labour government and the formation of the National Government in 1931
Run on the Bank of England 1931, May Report, Crisis of August 1931, cabinet split and resignation of govt.
Formation of National Govt. 1931 inc. MacDonald, Snowden, Thomas & Sankey, continuation of Nat. Govt. to fight 1931 gen. Election, attitude of Lab. movement to MacDonald & his expulsion
Arguments for and against MacDonald “the traitor,” contemporary Labour view, view of supporters of the National Government and later historians’ view.

Did MacDonald betray Labour?





From Past Papers:-

Why did the Labour government find it so difficult to deal with the financial crisis of 1931? (12 marks)

[cross-ref. with policies of 2nd Lab. Govt. above]
Explain why the Labour government fell from office in 1931. (12 marks) [cross-ref. with the policies of the 2nd Lab. Govt., above]
How far was the downfall of the second Labour Government in 1931 due to rising unemployment? (24 marks) [cross-ref. policies of the 2nd Labour Govt. above]
Why did Ramsay MacDonald form a National Government in August 1931? (12 marks)
Also:-

How important was Ramsay MacDonald’s betrayal of the Labour Party in explaining the formation of the National Government in 1931. (24 marks)



Key Issue • The impact of the 1931 crisis on the Labour Party to 1940
Lab. recovery 1931-40? – eg. Impact of 1931 gen. Election results, leadership problem, bye-election successes after 1931, significance of Attlee’s leadership from 1935 & repudiation of the left & Cripps’ Socialist League, role of Bevin, 1935 gen. Election results, Lab slow move away from pacifism eg opposition to rearmament (until 1939), support for L of N & opposition to Munich 1938, support for rearmament and full resistance to Nazi Germany 1939.

Pacifism
Appeasement



From Past Papers:-

Explain why the Labour Party did not win many seats in the General Election of 1931 (12 marks)


How successful was the Labour Party in strengthening its political position in the years 1932 to 1940? (24 marks)
Also:-

Why were the effects of the 1931 crisis so damaging for the Labour Party in the period 1931 to 1940? (12 marks)



Key Issue • The work of the National Government in dealing with economic crisis and political extremism
Economic Depression 1931-39

Long term problems – structural decline of staple industries, north south divide, long term structural unemployment, foreign competition, Jarrow and the Jarrow Crusade 1936 as symbol of long term unemployment


Long term growth of new industries and growing service sector – primarily in south-east & midlands
World trade depression from 1929 – Collapse in British exports, rising unemployment (until 1932). Global trade revival after 1932.
Financial crisis – govt. budget deficit, European banking crisis and the “Run on the Bank of England” 1931.
National Govt. & the economy 1931-39

  • reasons for formation & dominant role of Cons., political roles of MacDonald, Baldwin & Chamberlain, cuts to balance the budget 1931 but forced departure from Gold Standard, 1931 gen. election results




  • econ. policies incl. cuts to balance budget, low interest rates, protection & Ottawa Conference 1932, Special Areas Act 1934, MacDonald’s retirement as PM 1935, 1935 gen. election, Baldwin’s retirement 1937, rearmament from 1935 with effects on employment. Assessment of successes and limitations of govt. policies.

Other factors bringing economic improvement in the 1930s incl:-



  • Global trade revival

  • Divided economy (North-South) & relative prosperity of SE England & midlands

  • Falling cost of living and rising “real” wages for those in work – consumer demand rising

  • new industries, motors, chemicals & electrical consumer goods

  • service sector, leisure, retail, finance & media

  • CEGB, National Grid and significance of electrification

  • Private housing boom of 1930s

Selective knowledge of statistics, eg. unemployment, price & wage inflation & deflation, export figures, productivity & GNP


Be aware of different contemporary, political and subsequent historians’ opinions about the effects of the 1930s depression and the effectiveness of govt. policies in dealing with it.

Structural decline
Trade cycles
Structural and cyclical unemployment
Staple industries, new industries, service sector
Inflation

& deflation

Coalition

Free trade & protection




From Past Papers:-
How important were the policies of the National Government in bringing about economic recovery in Britain by 1939? (24 marks)
How successful were the National Governments in bringing economic recovery to Britain in the years 1931 to 1939? (24 marks)
How successful was the National government in dealing with the economic crisis in the years 1931 to 1935? (24 marks)
Also:-
How important was the demand for consumer goods rather than recovery of staple industries, or even government action, in achieving economic recovery in Britain during the 1930s? (24 marks)


Political Extremism in 1930s

Communist Party of Great Britain – eg. extent & nature of support, NUWM, reasons for relative lack of success, role in combating BUF, Labour Party & Moderate TU leaders’ refusal to work with Communists


British Union of Fascists – eg. extent & nature of support, role of Mosley, initial support of Daily Mail, Olympia Meeting 1934, Battle of Cable Street 1936, reasons for relative lack of success
Nat. Govt policies to limit political extremism – eg Incitement to Disaffection Act 1934, banning of political uniforms 1936.
Other factors limiting political extremism – eg economic recovery from 1933, stability of Nat. Govt, continued faith in Parliamentary govt and constitutional monarchy, strength and moderation of Labour Party and many trade union leaders (eg Bevin), leadership limitations for extremists, international events, eg Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia1935, Kristallnacht 1938 & Nazi-Soviet Pact 1939

Communism
Popular Front

Fascism



From Past Papers:-

Explain why extremist political parties gained support during the 1930s. (12 marks)


How successful were British governments in dealing with political extremism during the 1930s? (24 marks)

Also:-

Why were the communists not more successful in Britain in the 1930s? (12 marks)


Why were BUF not more successful? (12 marks)
How important were the policies of the National Government in explaining the failure of the BUF and the Communists to achieve widespread support in Britain in the 1930s? (24 marks)


Britain, 1940–1951








Key Issue • The policies and personalities of the wartime coalition government
Reasons for resignation of Neville Chamberlain as PM in May 1940 – military crises in Norway April 1940 & Blitzkrieg in France & Low Countries May 1940, political crisis, Parliamentary & press criticism.
Appointment of Churchill as PM – choice between Churchill & Halifax, arguments for and against each – Churchill as war leader – strengths & limitations, military situation in 1940, Cabinet debate – to fight or to seek compromise with Hitler.
Political styles & strengths of leading ministers – Churchill, Eden, Beaverbrook, Woolton, Butler (Cons), Attlee, Bevin, Morrison, (Lab)
Govt Policy:-

  • Wartime Collectivism – eg. Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939, new ministries eg. Bevin Min. of Labour – successes and limitations.

  • Paying for the War – eg tax increases, rationing & war bonds, neglect of non-war effort investment, overseas aid from empire and US Lend-Lease Scheme 1941.

  • Planning for Post-War Britain – Reasons for raised public expectations of post-war reforms, effects of wartime policies eg. Emergency Hospital Scheme, Beveridge Report 1942, Willink’s White Paper on an NHS 1944, Butler Education Act 1944, Family Allowances Act 1945, new ministries Ministry of Town & Country Planning 1943 & Ministry of Nationl Insurance 1944.

Assessment of successes and limitations of govt. policies.


Coalition


Appeasement
Phoney War
Blitzkrieg

From Past Papers:-
Why was a new coalition government formed under Winston Churchill in May 1940? (12 marks)
Explain why Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940. (12 marks)
Explain why the Beveridge Report was so popular with the general public in 1942. (12 marks) [cross-ref. with Wartime Attitudes below]
Also:-
How successful were the policies of the wartime governments 1939-45 in meeting the demands of the war effort? (24 marks)
How important was the role of Winston Churchill in explaining the success of the National Government from 1940 to 1945? (24 marks)

Key Issue • The impact of total war upon society and attitudes
Opportunities & breaking down barriers (social class or geographical) – eg. Conscription into armed services (often abroad), auxiliary services & industry, evacuation of children and others from cities, foreign troops in Britain (from occupied Europe, empire and America) – effects both positive and negative.
Narrowing gap between social classes – eg. Conscription (regardless of social class), rationing, wartime full employment, rising average earnings for working classes, controls on prices, rents & profits, high taxation of middle & upper classes. But – low pay for servicemen, inner city working cases bore brunt of bomb casualties & damage, worsening housing shortage.
Restrictions and attitudes to them – eg. Conscription (including to industry, eg. Bevin Boys) rationing, spivs, wartime taxation, disruption of education, wartime food, identity cards and internment without trial, censorship, propaganda.
Women and the war – opportunities eg. Auxiliary branches of armed services, in industry, jobs with better pay & status, different opportunities for different age groups, loosening moral constraints – restrictions eg. Burden of managing home with rationing & queues for mothers & housewives, unequal pay & other discrimination – Different interpretations of whether women experienced a social revolution as a result of the war.
Propaganda – propaganda images, extent to which these reflected reality, examples of where it did not.
Americanisation – eg. Hollywood movies, American G.I.s & GI brides, American luxuries, big band music, popularity & resentments.
Impact of the War – eg. Breaking down class and gender barriers and increasing equality? Increased social unity? Be aware of different interpretations of these questions. Eg. Boosted image of monarchy, of the Labour Party & of BBC.

Total War


Collectivism
Egalitarianism
“The Peoples’ War”
Social Revolution?

From Past Papers:-
Explain why the Beveridge Report was so popular with the general public in 1942. (12 marks) [cross-ref. with Wartime Policies, above]
How important to the revival of Labour Party fortunes between 1935 and 1945 was the British public’s experience of the Second World War? (24 marks) [cross-ref extent of Lab. Recovery from 1931 above and reasons for Labour landslide below]
Also:-

Why did the Second World War break down barriers of social class and make British society more equal? (12 marks)


Explain the ways in which women contributed to Britain’s war effort between 1939 and 1945. (12 marks)
How important was the work done by women on the home front during the Second World War in changing the position of women in British society? (24 marks)
How important were developments during the Second World War in reducing class divisions in Britain? (24 marks)
How important was the change in the economic role of women during the Second World War in explaining increasing social equality in Britain by 1945? (24 marks)
How successful was government policy in ensuring that the burdens of war were shared equally by different sections of society? (24 marks)

Key Issue • The reasons for the ‘Labour landslide’ in 1945
Reasons for Labour landslide victory in 1945 gen. election:-

  • Roots in Labour recovery 1931-39.

  • Labour’s role and experience in wartime coalition govt.

  • Wartime swing left - Impact of wartime collectivism and general mood of egalitarianism.

  • Labour support for Beveridge Report and promises of welfare state.

  • Backlash against Conservative record in 1930s – Depression & Appeasement.

  • Churchill’s lukewarm response to Beveridge Report.

  • The election campaign – Attlee v Churchill – the “Gestapo Jibe.”

  • First Past the Post System


From Past Papers:-

Explain why the Labour Party won a landslide victory in the 1945 General Election. (12 marks)


Explain why the Conservatives lost the General Election of 1945. (12 marks)
How important to the revival of Labour Party fortunes between 1935 and 1945 was the British public’s experience of the Second World War? (24 marks) [cross-ref Lab. Recovery from 1931 and also impact of total war above]
How far was Conservative defeat in the 1945 Election due to Churchill’s reluctance to support social reform? (24 marks)
Also:-

How important was the record of the Conservatives from 1931 to 1940 in explaining their election defeat in 1945? (24 marks)


How important was the election campaign itself in explaining Labour’s landslide election win in the 1945 General Election? (24 marks)


Key Issue • Economic crisis and recovery, 1945–1951
Effects of WW2 – Debt, loss of markets and investment income, disruption of European and world trade, armed forces committed around world (cost in money and manpower).
Background awareness of Britain’s commitment to the emerging Cold War (eg. Britain’s role supporting Greece & Turkey 1945-7, in the Berlin Airlift 1948-9, in the Korean War 1950-3 & in Attlee & Bevin’s decision to build an independent British nuclear weapon taken in 1946 and first tested in 1952.)
US & Canadian loans 1945-6
Balance of payments deficits, winter freeze, shortages and 1947 Crisis
Cripp’s Austerity/Export Drive, continued rationing, state planning and controls to prioritise production for export
Marshall Aid from 1948
Devaluation and Budget Cuts1949 (contrast with 1931!)
Improved exports & balance of payments by 1950
Nationalised services and industries – eg. names and nature of industries & services nationalised, roots of nationalization in Labour socialist ideology and in wartime experience of collectivism, results of nationalization, successes and limitations of different nationalizations, controversy over steel & road haulage nationalisation, debate within Lab. Party over further nationalizations after 1947, Cons. de-nationalisation of steel & road haulage after 1951. Arguments for & against the suggestion that nationalisation did mean radical change.
Cost of Korean War 1950-3 – further budget cuts including introduction of NHS prescription charges 1951 (Bevan resigned in protest)

Balance of payments


Austerity


From Past Papers:-
Explain why Britain requested aid from the USA after the Second World War. (12 marks)
Explain why the Labour government faced economic problems in the years 1945 to 1947. (12 marks)
How successful were the policies of Attlee’s governments in overcoming Britain’s economic problems in the years 1945 to 1951? (24 marks)
How important was the policy of nationalization for economic recovery in Britain in the years 1945 to 1951? (24 marks)

Also:-

Explain why the Labour Governments nationalised some industries, but not others, between 1945 and 1951 (12 marks)


How successful was the Labour government’s nationalization programme between 1945 and 1951? (24 marks)


Key Issue • The achievements of the Attlee government and the birth of the Welfare State
Welfare state – eg. pre-1945 roots of welfare reforms (pre-1945 pensions, Nat. Ins. & council housing reforms, Beveridge Report 1942), National Insurance Act 1946, Industrial Injuries Act 1946, National Assistance Act 1948, National Health Service inaugurated 1948, controversies over NHS – Bevan v. BMA, Bevan v. Cripps & Gaitskell, NB. Know what was new or different about Labour’s welfare state. Assessment of achievements & limitations of Labour’s welfare reforms.
Housing & Planning – eg. post 1945 housing shortages, Lab’s. prioritisation of housing for rent, missed targets due to budget limits, shortages of manpower & materials & Bevan’s prioritization of the NHS, role of Ministry of Town & Country Planning, new towns.
Education – eg. Labour acceptance of Butler’s Education Act 1944, achievements & limitations.
Labour’s loss of power – eg. results of 1950 & 1951 gen. elections, reasons for loss of Lab. Majority

Socialism (Marxist v. social democratic definitions)


Nationalisation
Mixed economy
Collectivism
Welfare state



From Past Papers:-

How successful were Attlee’s governments in dealing with health and housing in the years 1945 to 1951? (24 marks)


How successful were the Labour governments in implementing the Beveridge Report’s proposals in the years 1945 to 1951? (24 marks)
How successful were Labour governments in establishing a welfare state in Britain in the years 1945 to 1951? (24 marks)
Explain why the Labour government faced opposition to the establishment of a National Health Service after the Second World War. (12 marks)
How successful were the Labour governments in dealing with social problems in the years 1945 to 1951? (24 marks)
Also:-

Explain why the Conservative Party campaigned more effectively in 1950 and 1951 than in 1945. (12 marks)


How far was the Labour Party responsible for its own downfall in 1951? (24 marks)








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