The labour government

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To what extent the Labour government 1945-51 achieved a quiet revolution. In what respects were they a disappointment to themselves.

The Labour Government, with their massive victory in 1945, had important expectations for themselves and so did British Citizens. Already, before and during World War II it was felt that things should change in Britain. The conservative government wanted theseimportant matters to return to normal, but it was not what the public wanted. This landslide victory was a fantastic opportunity to achieve the party’s objectives such as the full welfare State and nationalization, full employment and an open foreign policy based on cooperation with other countries with the idea of peace as a priority. But with these great expectations came some problems, the warhad damaged Britain and the government faced important economic problems. The American economic help stopped, which did not help Britain. Labour managed to achieve many of its goals and objectives, but as they lost power in 1951, they were disappointed that they did not have any more time to achieve these objectives. To some extent, Labour managed to change Britain in many aspects, but when theylost in 1951, there was still rationing as there was during the war and there was still a housing shortage, a very important one despite the measures that Labour took.

One of the important objectives of Labour in 1945 was nationalization of several industries, and during the Labour government, they managed to nationalize a number of activities. It was felt that the state should have control overthe most important industries, which would allow state planning and better conditions for the workers. The coal industry, which was very inefficient, was one of the first industries to be nationalized. Many coal mines were bought by the state from private owners. Another industry that was nationalized was the bank of England, which gave more power over the economy to the state. Then followed manyother industries such as civil aviation, cables and wireless, public transport, electricity… Another important project was Britain’s economic recovery, after the war, there needed to be economic recovery; major industries had to be restored (sometimes through nationalization) so that Britain could export again and solve the balance of payment problem. The economic situation in Britain wasdesperate: the American aid stopped as soon as the war ended, there and the country had enormous debts. The lease that Britain got from the United States in 1946 helped recover the economy and exports to some extent, but the money was used very quickly and could not fully recover the British economy, the situation remained critical. Among the reasons that helped recover the British economy was theMarshall Plan. Labour changed the British industry to help it recover, and they were partially successful. One of the most important part of the Labour’s government plan was to create a full welfare state, it was considered as a remedy to the fear of sickness, poverty, unemployment, old age and many other fears which were held by the majority of the population. This full welfare state would be financedout of taxation. The first and most important thing in this project of creating a full welfare state was creating a comprehensive social security system, the National Health Service. The NHS covered almost any form of medical care. Because of this new institution, which became very popular, the death rate fell, people were not as scared, they did not have all these fears, and the overall mentalityof the people was better, the standard of living was also greatly improved. The National insurance Act, paid out of the worker’s wedges, also improved this standard of living and contributed to the creation of the welfare state. The National assistance act, the national insurance industrial injuries act and the 1944 education act all reduced these fears and were passed to create the welfare...
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