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Britain - PBworks

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Britain
1945-1991
G) Foreign Policy under Labour
Britain’s place in the world changed after WWII
пЃ®
Empire
– Indian independence (1947)
– Malaya-Communist uprising пѓ Civil War
– Gave up Mandate in Palestine, promised to guide future
settlement
– Nationalist Independence movements continued to gain
strength elsewhere (Kenya, Nigeria…)
Foreign Policy cont’d
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Europe
– Bevin helped come up with Marshall Plan/European
Reconstruction Program (ERP) 1947
– Did not join E.C.S.C. in 1952 or E.C. in 1957
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Cold War
– American alliance continued post-1945
В» Greece-Britain fought communist rebels, US took
over in 1946
В» Berlin Airlift (1948) RAF carried supplies
В» Involved in UN action in Korea
В» Increased defense budget and investment in nuclear
development
H) Why did Labour lose the 1951
election?
People tired of rationing. Conservatives
promised prosperity and end of rationing
пЃ® Labour seemed tired after all its
accomplishments
пЃ® Armaments increased during Korean War
meant shortages
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III) Conservatives in Power
1951-1964
пЃ® Themes:
– Consensus politics
– “Age of affluence” or
“Age of decline”? (economy)
Prime Ministers
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Winston Churchill-1951-55
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Anthony Eden, 1955-57
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Harold Macmillan 1957-1963
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Alec Douglas-Home 1963-64
A) Age of Consensus
1951-1970s
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Conservative and Labour governments had almost
identical policies
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Consensus is sometimes referred to as “Butskellism ”
– Hugh Gaitskell-Labour leader
– R.A. Butler-Chancellor of the Exchequer under
Churchill
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Welfare state continued under
Conservatives
– More money to health and education
– More houses built (300,000 in 1953)
– Town Development Act 1952 passed
В» Relocation out of London into existing developed
(& growing!) communities
– Nationalisation continued
В» Only iron and steel were de-nationalized
B) Age of Affluence or Britain in
Decline?
– Austerity ended
В» Price controls ended 1953
В» Rationing ended 1954
– Standards of living rose. P.M.
Macmillan-“You never had it so good.”
В»Cars, TVs, more food
Car ownership x2
TVs x30
Home appliances bought on credit
В»Low unemployment
В»Wages rose. Taxes were lowered
В»GNP grew 50 %
Vote Conservative
пЃ®
BUT…
–
–
–
–
–
Industry inefficient
Budget deficit continued пѓ low growth
Decrease in exports
Inflation
Strikes
Levels and Rates of Growth of Real
GDP/Person, 1950-1973
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Greece
Portugal
Spain
Ireland
Italy
Austria
Finland
W. Germany
France
Norway
Belgium
Nethrlands
Sweden
UK
Denmark
Switzerland
C) Stop-Go Economy-Butler
пЃ®
How does a government stimulate economic
growth while bringing favorable balance of trade?
– STOP
– GO
пѓ STOP
Wage restraints, raise bank rates
Fewer imports
Lower taxes and bank rates
Purchasing power=more imports
Inflation=strikes
Strikes =fewer exports
Fewer exports=no profits. Budget deficit
Wage restraints, etc.
NO PERMANENT SOLUTION
D) International Policy
пЃ®
Europe
– MacMillan applied for E.C. membership
– Application vetoed by DeGaulle in 1963
EEC Application 1961
пЃ®
Cold War
– Eden helped create Baghdad Pact 1955
В» Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, UK
– 1958 nuclear bomb obtained
В» Suez humiliation but Britain still a world power
– Against US involvement in Vietnam
International Policy cont’d
пЃ®
Empire
– Suez Crisis 1956. Eden resigned.
– “Wind of Change” (1960-1963 )
E) Achievements of Conservative
gov’t
Move away from austerity
пЃ® Wages rose 72%
пЃ® More consumer goods
пЃ® More homes built
пЃ® New schools and universities
пЃ® Mechanized agriculture = rise in production
пЃ®
Criticisms
Large balance of payments problem
пЃ® Investment in defense (H-bomb, Korea)
meant little for industry
пЃ® Industry continued to lag behind
пЃ® Failure to join E.C.= missed opportunity
пЃ® Textile, shipbuilding industries declined
пЃ®
Summary
пЃ®
Britain recovering economically, but slowly
France 4.1% growth rate
Germany 3.4% growth rate
Great Britain 1.9% growth rate
пЃ®
Reasons for continued economic
difficulties:
1. Large military and defense expenses (CW)
2. High cost of welfare state
3. Problems with industrial relations (union
strikes)
4. Cost of modernizing industry
Harold Wilson, 1964-1970
(Labour)
пЃ®
Hopeful start, governmental change:
1. Dept. of Economic Affairs created
в†’ National Economic Plan drawn up
(dropped in 1967)
2. Minister of Technology in place
Industry
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пЃ®
пЃ®
пЃ®
Tried to modernize to make industry more
efficient
Steel industry re-nationalized
Compulsory price and wage freeze
Reactions
– Dockers Strikes пѓ decline in production/exports
– 1969, “In Place of Strife” (White Paper)
– Proposal for dealing with industrial disputes
- Rejected пѓ NO TRADE UNION REFORM
AND, economic problems continued:
- Balance of payments deficit still large
в†’ IMF loan (1964, ВЈ1 billion)
- Bank rates raised
- Income tax raised
- Pound devalued 1967
- Prices and Incomes Board created to keep
inflation down
Conclusion: Balance of payments problem improved but
economic growth still slow
Politics:
- New gov’t offices created
- 1967 tried to join EC but DeGaulle refused
- BUT, some good news for social policies!
Social policies
– Decriminalization of homosexuality (1967)
– Race relations Act 1968 - laws against
discrimination
– Abortion legalized (1967)
– Open University created (1969)
– Housing
В» Protection from eviction, urban renewal, council
housing
– Death penalty abolished (1969)
International Policy
– Decreased military spending, while maintaining
US alliance
– Violence in Northern Ireland пѓ Troops sent in
» “The Troubles” will last for 2 decades
– Rhodesian Independence 1965
Assessment
пЃ®
Living standards improved BUT roots of
economic problems remained unsolved
– growth still slow
– no solutions to disputes between government
and unions
– Continued failure to enter the European
Community
1970s
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A decade little short of disaster
– ½ Conservative & ½ Labour
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1970-74 Conservative , Heath
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1974-78 Labour
– 74-76 Wilson
– 76-78 Callaghan
Edward Heath
Aims
пЃ®
1. Decrease/slow rise in prices
пЃ®
2. Increase productivity
пЃ®
3. Decrease unemployment
пЃ®
4. Join Europe
Unions
пЃ®
1971 Industrial Relations Act to impose
controls on strikes
BUT,
- Unions refused to register
- 1972 Miner strikes to protest the Act
- Power stations closed
- State of emergency called
пѓ Heath gave in to miners
More strikes!
Recession 1973
– Oil Crisis
– Gov’t calls for 3 day week, 50mph limit, TV stopped
broadcasting at 10:30 p.m.
– Miners strike again
– Gov’t gave in again and raised miners’ wages
– Heath called elections in 1974 and asked “Who rules
Britain?”
Results
Failed in 3 out of 4 of his aims, due to:
1. Inflation after 1973 oil crisis (impossible
to control)
2. Resultant strikes and wage increases
в†’ decline in production
3. Led to ↑ unemployment
Successfully joined European Union!
Wilson’s back
1974 election → Labour’s return
пЃ® Immediate problems =
пЃ®
– Small majority (39% Labour – 35% Conserv)
– Continued inflation (£4 billion IMF loan, on
condition of ↓ public spending →
↑ unemployment)
– On-going problems with trade unions
& Labour was supposed to be unions’ party!
Key events
1975 North Sea Oil discovered пѓ growth rate rose
пЃ® 1975 E.C. referendum
пЃ® 1978-79 Winter of Discontent
пЃ®
– Public Service Strikes – garbage collection,
teachers, grave diggers…
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