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

Words: 959
Pages: 4

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-
…show more content…
These involved: Fuel and Power Industries, iron and steel, and inland transport.Due to the economic depression, nationalisation seemed to work relatively well, other than in the steel industry- and eventually the issue of opposition in the steel industry gave the conservatives sometime to unite against after the previous election disaster. Keynesian economics in theory, is brilliant, the idea of maintaining the demand for goods and services and to avoid industrial decline. Its main intention; to keep employment high. If people are employed they have money, so they purchase goods, the economy grows and this creates wealth. The role of the Labour government was now to spend money to create employment and demand thus causing inflation and hopefully strengthening the economy.

But the Labour Government was yet to face it's largest problem. After the war, the borrowing from the United States and the general costs of war left us with a debt of £4198 million. And it was in this area that Labour were less successful. Their theory was a loan of $6000 million from USA and Canada- hoping that as the economy recovered, the loans would be easier and easier to pay back. Here, they were wrong. Labour had little choice but to resort to Austerity measures, such as rationing remaining, lack of consumer goods, and no luxuries- it is perhaps here that labour lost their popularity somewhat.

Despite the end of the Atlee Government, due to the publics