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Introducing Western Cycles: United Kingdom



Western Cycles:

United Kingdom

Author profile

: This is my first [+ interview+]. If you are a blogger, a journalist or anything in between you can make a book review, or even interview me. Just send your inquiries to [email protected]

Alejandro Puerto Hernandez is a young man of 19 years who since childhood has had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, particularly about other nations’ economic and political histories.  He has written ‘Western Cycles: United Kingdom’ detailing the U.K’s political history from World War II onwards, analysing the economic situation at the time, and the nation’s challenges with each successive government.


Today Alejandro has been kind enough to answer 20 of my questions.  You can find him on the links below or contact him on the email address given:





Email: [email protected]

1.  Living in Cuba, how did you become interested in British economic and political history?  Was it for a college course?

No, it wasn’t for a college course (I start studying in September), but living in an under-developed country as I do, since my childhood I have had a genuine interest in learning about the economic and political systems of other nations, and using this knowledge as material for reflection and looking for answers in that magical space we call history.  In the particular case of the U.K I was interested in the way they managed to stabilise and even improve their economic and social situation and deal with challenges after the destruction of World War II.  An interesting case was retaining global influence despite losing power after the independence of the colonies.

2.  Did you spend a lot of your childhood writing stories on your own as I did, or did you live in a noisy household where finding time to write and pursue your interests was difficult?

 Much of my childhood was spent looking for historical information on the internet, mainly regarding the U.K. At first it was confusing because the sources gave very varied and sometimes contradictory criteria regarding the different heads of government according to their own policies.  That was the basis on which I began accumulating the most relevant information from an unbiased and entertaining view.  There came a point where I always had a book before my eyes.

With regard to living in a noisy household, I can say that Cuba is indeed loud in more ways than one.  But when writing, I have been able to channel noise into an inner peace which is very rewarding in more ways than one.

3.  Have you ever been to the UK?  If so, where did you visit?

 [_No, I have never been to the UK, but I would like to visit.  It would be very rewarding to travel by train from Liverpool to Manchester, as the first inter-city rail line was built here in 1830.  This opened the UK’s leadership in the Industrial Revolution. _]

I would also like to visit London, because in the same way that all roads lead to Rome, there was a time when all trains carried passengers to London.

4.  How long did it take to write *][*Western Cycles: United Kingdom?  Have you written any other books?

 As mentioned previously I have been writing since childhood.  However, I spent about three months writing this book, and also compiling much economic information into charts throughout the work with knowledge I have acquired recently.

I have not written any other books, but as I feel good when I write, I expect there will be others.  Right now I’m torn between Canada or France for my next Western Cycles book.  I hope that readers of this interview and of my blog will help me to decide.

5.  Were you surprised when Britain voted to leave the European Union?

 I was surprised, but when analysing the situation I don’t think it is as dramatic as the media describe.  I think the UK could retain its access to the common European market by joining the EFTA countries.  Of course losing the unified trade policy, its economy would not be as integrated as it is today, but the majority of the UK population voted to leave and we should show respect.

6.  If you could live in the time of any of our British prime ministers, which time, past or present, would you choose?

 I would choose to live under the government of Clement Atlee, because I would like to see in person the reaction of the British after Winston Churchill was not elected at the end of World War II.  It would also be interesting to note the establishment of the welfare state in a period of scarcity and rationing, just as described in my book.  Of course after a few days or weeks I would like to go back to the present, as there was no internet.  I would write about the experience in my blog.

7.  Did you learn English as a young child, or just recently in your late teens?

I learned English in my childhood and perfected it during my adolescence.  It is a very easy language to learn, and it is a very practical ability to be able to speak two languages.  Of course I am proud to have Spanish as my mother tongue.  No other language is heard with such poetry.

 8.   Did you design the cover and edit *][*Western Cycles: United Kingdom[* yourself?*]

I designed the book cover by placing the beautiful flag of the nation as the primary element.  I have always considered that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  I also used the Ubuntu Operating System and typography because its design philosophy is humanistic, so that gets the message across that I want to express in the book.

Regarding editing, I am asking the readers to send me their opinion and also find any errors from an editorial point of view and report them to my email [email protected]



9.  In your opinion, what is the best way of marketing a book?

I think the ideal way is to use relevant points of the book in a blog or on social media, looking for ways in which readers feel comfortable being inside the book but not departing from the perimeter.  The online world should appreciate books that are not sold in bookstores.

The content offered online in my blog is not original and I have not worked hard to update it as there is no internet access in Cuban homes.  However, once I begin college I will be able to work harder on my blog and participate more fully online.

10.  Is your aim to ultimately become a full-time author, or do you have another career in mind?

Soon I will begin studying engineering in telecommunications and electronics, because this is interesting to me and a professional qualification in this subject is very versatile.  However, it doesn’t help with writing books, but I think I can combine both.  I am sure I will not stop writing.

11.  Which websites have you used most in your book research?

I used the National Archives of the UK Government, the Statistics Agency site, and the Government Site, ukpublicspending.com andukpublicrevenue.com, which are all excellent.  I read many articles from The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and the BBC from many years ago.  My main challenge was to bring all that information in an original and impartial format.

12.  Your Western Cycles blog states concise news items and general information from the Western world.  In Cuba, are you able to access European news programmes on TV, or do you rely on the internet for your information?

I used only the internet, as Cuban press and television are completely biased in reporting the international scene.

13.  Have you sent your book to any literary agents?  If so, have you had any replies?

I have not sent my book to any literary agent.  Any kind of replies, whether professional or friendly, can be sent to [email protected]

14.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  What will you be doing?

I think I will be travelling all over the world, learning the culture of different peoples and collecting photographs of historical sites.  Tourism is a very authentic way to encourage the learning of foreign languages, respect for the customs of other countries, and closer ties of understanding between nations.


15.  Which author has had the most influence on you?

Walter Isaacson is not a historian and serves more as a journalist than a writer, but his book ‘Steve Jobs’ (2011) changed the way we perceive literature, especially the historical genre.  Walter has the ability to present each subject starting with an overview of the overall concept in each case, and then argue in a simple and precise way without losing the chronological order.  I believe that history books should appreciate this style.  That’s why I transferred this ability to Western Cycles: United Kingdom.

 16.  In your opinion, which genre of books is the most popular?

First Epic Fantasy, and Dystopian Science Fiction second.  In this genre I appreciate popular works such as Game of Thrones, because the folklore is subject to conflict.  For example in the saga abound dragons, giants and witches, but the main thing is the civil war for the Iron Throne inspired by the Wars of the Roses as a primary historical source.

17.  Apart from writing, what other interests do you have?

[_I like video games a lot.  I enjoy Civilization Saga and Sid Meiers Pirates created by 2K Games.  In addition StarCraft and Warcraft developed by Blizzard, but I’m not as good as I’d like to be.  Using emulators I play The Legend of Zelda and Fire Emblem from Nintendo and Final Fantasy (the older the best).  I admire Electronic Arts games. _]

18.  If you could choose where to live, where would you like to be?

I think it’s not in Cuba, but should be a place near the sea.  Among the different places in Cuba I consider myself fortunate to live in Cienfuegos.  It is a small city founded by the French.  It is much less noisy than Havana, and cleaner.

19.  What is the one thing you cannot do without?

I cannot write without a glass of water next to me. Many times I am not thirsty, but I feel more comfortable that way.

[*20.  Can you dance the Samba? *]


Thanks Alejandro for your answers.  I also like a glass of water next to me while I’m writing!



-Clement Attlee (1945-1951)

-Economic Cycles (1945-1951)

-Winston Churchill 2 (1951-1955)*

-Economic Cycles (1951-1955)*

-Anthony Eden (1955-1957)*

-Economic Cycles (1955-1957)*

-Harold Macmillan (1957-1963)*

-Economic Cycles (1957-1963)*

-Alec Douglas-Home (1963-1964)*

-Economic Cycles (1963-1964)*

-Harold Wilson (1964-1970)*

-Economic Cycles (1964-1970)*

-Edward Heat (1970-1974)*

-Economic Cycles (1970-1974)*

-Harold Wilson 2 (1974-1976)*

-Economic Cycles (1974-1976)*

-James Callaghan (1976-1979)*

-Economic Cycles (1976-1979)*

-Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990)*

-Economic Cycles (1979-1990)*

-John Major (1990-1997)*

-Economic Cycles (1990-1997)*

-Tony Blair (1997-2007)*

-Economic Cycles (1997-2007)*

-Gordon Brown (2007-2010)*

-Economic Cycles (2007-2010)*

-David Cameron (2010-2015)*

-Economic Cycles (2010-2015)*

  • These chapters of the book are exclusive for the original book. Amazon has it for you.


Although the UK was one of the winners of the Second World War, the abrupt aftermath was one of unembellished hardship. More than 4 million houses had been devastated and for the first time since the 18th century, the United Kingdom converted a debtor country. Energy deficiencies, gas limiting and scarce nutrition and accommodation and unemployment touching 2.3 million, all added to the nation’s complications.

But leaders arose and the country ascended again. Western Cycles: United Kingdom describes all the governments that followed the end of the Second World War to the present, analyzing the economic characteristics of each period and the challenges faced in the nation.

How Clement Attlee created the welfare state? How Winston Churchill faced the Malayan Emergency? How Anthony Eden responded to the Suez crisis? How Harold Macmillan managed to turn the country into nuclear power? What would make Alec Douglas-Home in just one year in office? What social changes were made during the administrations of Harold Wilson? How Edward Heath dealt with unions? What meant the Winter of Discontent for James Callaghan? Why Margaret Thatcher is admired and hated at the same time? Why John Major legalized lottery? What was the political cost of the Iraq War for Tony Blair? How Gordon Brown responded to the Great Recession? Have austerity measures of David Cameron working correctly? The answers are in Western Cycles: United Kingdom.

Note: Labour governments are marked in red and Conservative governments are marked in blue.

Clement Attlee (1945-1951)

There are particular British general elections in the 20th century whose results appear so unexpected and reflective that the elections appear as major spinning cycles in the governmental record and certainly in the life of the nation. Such was the general election of 1945, when the Labour Party won a vast triumph and carried to an end a long period of Conservative rule. With Churchill’s rank as a “war hero” in the World War II, many forecast a Conservative victory. Nevertheless, the war had set in sign deep social variations within Britain, and had ultimately led to a prevalent general aspiration for social reform.

From May 1940 to May 1945, Britain had been directed by a coalition government, with Conservative MP Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.

Following the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of the War in Europe in May 1945, Attlee and Churchill favoured the coalition government enduring in place until Japan had been beaten.


World War II in Europe terminated on 8 May 1945. On 23 May, the legislative wartime coalition broke up, and Churchill resumed at the head of a principally Conservative ‘caretaker’ management for the duration of the voting campaign.


The prime minister called the election for early July, assured that the British people would back the highest hero of the hour, but several conditions expected change.


The movement for social reform reached a peak in December 1942, with the publication of the Beveridge Report. The Report presumed that the preservation of full employment would be the purpose of post-war governments, and that this would deliver the beginning for the welfare state. The author of this, Sir William Beveridge, was a determined man, whose report went far afar the terms of position he had assumed by the government. He shaped what amounted to a complete manifesto of change, including social security, a National Health Service, a full employment policy and other improvements. All major parties dedicated themselves to satisfying this purpose, but most historians say that Attlee’s Labour Party were understood by the voters as the most expected to follow it done.


The 1945 election was the first general election to be held in Britain since November 1935. It was held on 5 July 1945, with the outcome proclaimed three weeks later on 26 July 1945 to allow the votes of those attending overseas to be calculated.

The Beveridge Report, therefore, presented Clement Attlee with an excellent chance to reinvent himself as the leader of a party truly apprehensive with social demands. What was more, receipt of the report was not the only option – the party could have decided to formulate and advertise an alternative prospectus. Labour campaigned on the subject of “Let Us Face the Future”, positioning themselves as the party best engaged to rebuild Britain after the war, while the Conservative campaign dedicated exclusively around his leader. Churchill, however, totally missed the opportunity.


There were other influences too. The Labour party had held workplace only twice previously, in 1924 and in 1929-31, but throughout the war years its management had developed both involvement and confidence. It now seen like a party of government.

In contrast, the Conservative campaign absorbed on Churchill’s popular appeal, reducing taxation, preserving defence spending and boosting private business interests. While Churchill accepted a necessity for social reform, he claimed that this should be done privately rather than by the government, claiming that Labour would need more conditions to gave such reform.

Labour’s aptitude to take over the forceful statures of the economy via nationalisation were abhorrence to devoted Tories, but after nearly six years of wartime state course of the economy it did not appear nearly so drastic as it had before the war.

With 47.7% of the vote, Labour safeguarded an incredible 393 seats in the House of Commons. The Conservatives, with 39.7%, won just 210 seats. The Liberal party, which had ruled the country less than quarter of a century earlier, was reduced to 9% of the vote, and just 12 seats. The new Prime Minister was Churchill's second-in-command in the wartime coalition,  Clement Attlee.

It must be alleged that despite many suggestions that support for Labour was rising during the Second World War most Labour leaders were doubtful about their probabilities of an electoral victory in 1945. This was not only because in Winston Churchill they had a challenging adversary whose reputation and standing as a prosperous War Leader was then at its summit, but because Labour’s pre-war record had been fragile and ordinary.


The supplementary major issue at work in the voting was the general sensation that Labour had showed itself as a party of direction. Morrison and Bevin were appreciated and efficient Ministers, and Attlee’s name rose through the 1945 electoral movement. People assumed that Labour could and would deal successfully with the national issues now fronting the country, on which the party had focused and in which the electorate was most concerned. Finally, the old thought that Labour was weak to head, which had affected previous votes, had been assumed the untruth. The Conservative Party – where the impact of right-wingers such as Lord Beaverbrook was so significant – would carry out the changes on which the Coalition Government had decided little confidence. Nor was there any real anti-Conservative substitute to the Labour Party in 1945. The Liberals, with only 306 aspirants in the field, had no potential chance of forming a government. In fact, with only 12 MPs in the House of Commons after 1945, the Liberals hardly continued as a possible governmental party since then.

Clement Attlee as leader of the Labour Party focused heavily on a programme without any precedent and possibly no following government would exceed. This programme would include a “welfare state” of free education, health care and social services, and a broad programme of nationalisation, all closely associated to Attlee and Bevin’s ideologies. Although the Labour Government demanded to implement a national welfare procedure, a lack of strong fiscal capability limited the elections accessible, and therefore affected the degree to which Britain could reach a world policy without limiting the country’s global position. The issue was how to supply the new political agenda without losing the majority of Britain possessions overseas, so the government would start the decolonisation process also.

Attlee coordinated a vastly prosperous domestic policy with social goals in cognizance.It is one of the uncommon governments in contemporary British history that can really say that it reached all the major objectives it set out to achieve. In 1948, Attlee’s health secretary Aneurin Bevan established the National Health Service, in spite of great antagonism from the medical establishment. This was a publicly funded healthcare system, which offered treatment free of charge for all at the point of use. For the first stage, poor families were capable to receive publicly funded healthcare without “means testing”: where poor families had to evidence their entitlement before getting free healthcare. In substituting the ramshackle and localised pre-war system of healthcare, and in requiring the state to treat people free of charge no matter their illness or social status, the NHS speedily became preserved as a keystone of general life. The NHS treated 8.5 million dental patients and circulated more than 5 million pairs of glasses in its first year of procedure alone Consultants also profited from the new scheme by being paid salaries that provided a satisfactory standard of living without the need for them to resort to private practice. The NHS carried major progresses in the health of working-class people, with deceases from diphtheria, pneumonia, and TB significantly reduced. Although there are often disagreements about its organisation and finance, British parties to this day must still say their general sustenance for the NHS in command to remain electable: if a politician announces that they do not support it, it can mean the end for their political profession. The NHS is one major feature of the Attlee legacy, which endures to the present day.

The Attlee government formed the National Health Service with its three founding principles:

p<>{color:#000;}. that it meet the needs of everyone

p<>{color:#000;}. that it be free at the point of delivery

p<>{color:#000;}. that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay

Prior the NHS, thousands deceased every year from remediable diseases such as pneumonia, diphtheria, meningitis, tuberculosis and polio.  Those diseases have been all but removed in the United Kingdom by the NHS. In the ground of healthcare, funds were assigned towards modernisation and extension structures aimed at refining administrative productivity.

Before the Attlee government’s reforms, the mainstream of people faced financial ruin or a short and brutal life down to lack of admission to public healthcare. Thanks to the NHS, if a being is sick in the United Kingdom, they obtain treatment, and they do not count the ever rising medical bills with a sense of increasing worry as they do so.

In 1948, the year of the NHS’s beginning, thirty four of every thousand babies born in England and Wales died before its first birthday.  Today this stands below five in every thousand, approximately.

Since then, the British public have come to see the NHS and its free health care as an important human right and a foundation to their democracy, and subsequent administrations have been reasonably unenthusiastic to change or reform this standard program. Yet, finance issues, as well as social changes and technical advances, are changing the way the NHS implements. The NHS was planned to be a malleable and receptive service.

In 1948, the only mass vaccination and immunization programmes were Smallpox and Diphtheria, whilst service employees received Tetanus.  Actually, there are fourteen such programmes guaranteeing young people are sheltered against all from mumps and measles to tuberculosis and hepatitis B.

Enhancements were made in treatment accommodation in order to employee more nurses and decrease labour deficiencies which were keeping 60,000 beds out of use, and determinations were completed to decrease the inequity “between an excess of fever and tuberculosis (TB) beds and a shortage of maternity beds.” In addition, BCG immunizations were announced for the protection of medical students, midwives, nurses, and contacts of patients with TB, while a pension scheme was set up for workers of the newly-established NHS. Numerous smaller reforms were also announced some of which were of great advantage to certain segments of British society, such as the rationally deficient and the blind. The Radioactive Substances Act of 1948 set out general provisions to control radioactive substances.

The birth of the National Health Service in July 1948 remnants Labour’s highest memorial. It was accomplished only after two years of unpleasant confrontation by the medical establishment, with professionals intimidating strike action and the British Medical Association driving out unhappy forewarnings about bureaucracy and cost.

Alas, warnings showed to have more than a particle of certainty, and the government was obligatory to departure from its first outstanding vision of free, widespread health care for all. In the opening, all was provided: hospital accommodation, GP protection, medicine, dental care, and even glasses. Nevertheless, with Britain displaying few signs of financial take off, the fiscal burden was huge. In 1951, chancellor of the exchequer Hugh Gaitskell was obliged to reinstate charges for NHS false teeth and glasses. Aneurin Bevan, Harold Wilson and junior minister John Freeman stormed out of government, and Attlee’s standing inside his own party was heated.

The Education Act of 1944 shaped Britain’s first free, common and universal education system for scholars up to the age of 18.  It was supported by the principle that ‘the nature of a child’s education should be based on his capacity and promise and not by the circumstances of his parent’. Even if this law was approved before Attlee´s premiership, the objectives were applied under his direction. The school leaving age was elevated to 15 in 1947 also.

The Act made a Minister of government in charge for a national education structure for the first time.  It shaped the model of Primary, Secondary and Further education. It also made secondary education an obligation, not only a power of the local education ability.  The Act set out a nationwide code of guidelines specifying principles of accommodation, class sizes and so on that must be assured to every child, and made all schools other than Grammar schools free to attend. University scholarships were presented to confirm that no one who was qualified should be underprivileged of a university education for financial motives, while a huge school construction platform was prepared.

He had other determined purposes and witnessed, among other things, to raise the school leaving age to 16 and to provide meals for all children free of charge. Both were ruled out initially on grounds of cost. Universal free school milk was introduced, however, in August 1946.

One of the most urgent problems facing the new Ministry of Education after the war was the deficiency of teachers. The raising of the school leaving age to 15 (as recommended by Hadow in 1926 and implemented in April 1947) and the reorganisation of secondary education intensified the problem. An emergency training platform was announced in 1945, with 53 teaching colleges opened by 1950. Salaries for teachers were also upgraded, and funds were distributed towards refining standing schools.

Several education bills were approved gradually. The 1946 Education Act (22 May 1946) made adjustments to the 1944 Education Act involving to volunteer and precise schools, religious worship in aided and special settlement schools, clothing scholarships for occupants and nursery school pupils, and the requirement of teachers for association of local authorities and their commissions. The 1948 Employment and Training Act proven the Youth Employment Service. The 1948 Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (30 June 1948) prolonged the range of scholars who could be delivered with clothing by an LEA, and endorsed an LEA to cancel a report that a child was ‘incapable of getting education at school owing to incapacity of mind’ if suggested to do so by the local health authority. The 1948 Nurseries and Child-Minders Regulation Act (30 July 1948) made supplies concerning the registration and inspection of nurseries and child-minders.

The Attlee government is appropriately seen as one of the great reformist governments of the 20th century. The administration set about applying William Beveridge’s plans for the formation of a ‘cradle to grave’ welfare state, and set in place a completely new scheme of social security.

The war devastated Britain’s investments, but had also imparted a desire for an improved future. This found partisan appearance in the consequence of the 1945 general election, where the Labour party won its first ever parliamentary majority in a landslide triumph.

Clement Atlee began a broad structure of social security in 1948 with the National Insurance Act, in which persons in work paid a flat rate of national insurance. In profit, they (and the wives of male funders) were qualified for flat-rate pensions, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, and funeral benefit. The Industrial Injuries Act and the National Assistance Act (ending the old Poor Law); set additional accomplishments in this trend.

The 1944 Education Act, which had presented the concept of selection at 11 and enforced free secondary education for all, was based on the work of a Tory, Richard Austin ‘Rab’ Butler. He went on to overcome all but the highest peak of British politics and it was a solid rock for successive accomplishments in the Labour Party, like the welfare system.

The Attlee years were a significant period. The years between 1945 and 1951 saw nothing less than the birth of modern Britain. Most perceptibly, the Labour government of Clement Attlee shaped the universal welfare state that the United Kingdom now take for settled. Mass immigration began as new residents arrived from the West Indies, India and Pakistan. Eventually this was to change the appearance of the country. Yet while the era is evoked as a first-class age of regeneration after World War II, it is recurrently forgotten that Attlee’s Britain was in detail a drab and often unfriendly place to live after the Second World War harms.

The overview of the welfare state refreshed fundamentally on the work of two Liberal economists: John Maynard Keynes, who claimed the advantages of full employment and state stimulus in the economy, and William Beveridge.

Attlee’s welfare state reproduced this determination. All taxpayers funded the social insurance, and everybody in the nation was protected by it. Levels of assistances were consistent. The retirement pension was exposed to all and could now be requested at the age of sixty-five rather than seventy. Various other pieces of legislature delivered for child benefit and provision for people with no other basis of income. In 1949, unemployment, sickness and maternity benefits were discharged from tax. Under a system of family allowances, parents would obtain a weekly payment upon the birth of their second child (and this would rise with any following children).

Every British citizen has promoted at some point in their lives from the abundant welfare state reforms presented. Attlee set out to accurate the vices of British society laid out in the 1946 Beveridge Report, starting with the 1946 National Insurance Act, in which people paid a flat amount of National Insurance in arrival for flat-rate pensions, sickness benefits, unemployment benefit and funeral benefit, as well as rises in aid to deprived children, elderly people and the handicapped. The instant effect of this was huge decreases in rates of infant mortality, and an increased life expectancy.

A block grant presented in 1948 helped the social services delivered by local authorities. Personal Social Services or welfare services were established in 1948 for individual and families in general, predominantly special groups such as the mentally disordered, deprived children, the elderly, and the handicapped. The Attlee Government also meaningfully increased pensions and other benefits, with pensions raised to convert more of a living revenue than they had been.

Beveridge’s ideas were picked from each corner and opening of Whitehall. His difficult mission was to put composed a comprehensible plan for postwar social rebuilding. What he came up with prolonged vastly the framework of national insurance first put in place before the World War I by David Lloyd George. Every British citizen would be protected, regardless of income or lack of it. Those who required jobs and homes would be aided. Those who were sick would be preserved.

The cumulative influence of the Attlee’s Government’s health and welfare policies was such that all the indices of health (such as statistics of school medical or dental officers, or of medical officers of health) presented signs of development, with continual enhancements in endurance rates for infants and increased life expectancy for the elderly. The success of the Attlee Government’s welfare legislation in reducing poverty was such that, in the general election of 1950, according to Kevin Jefferys, “Labour propaganda could make much of the claim that social security had eradicated the most abject destitution of the 1930s”. War pensions and allowances (for both world wars) were amplified by an Act of 1946 which gave the injured man with a payment for his wife and children if he wedded after he had been injured, thereby eliminating a complaint of more than twenty years standing.

In the most continuing legacies of the Attlee years is the welfare state. The Labour government applied many of the ideas explained in the Beveridge report, a 1942 official study acclaiming a welfare state to protect people from ‘the cradle to the grave’. It became a nationwide phenomenon, a proposal for the creation of the ‘New Jerusalem’: an affluent yet democratic humanity.

What converted identified as social housing was considered by Liberal peer William Beveridge in 1942 and carried to life by Clement Attlee’s Labour government in 1945. The hundreds of thousands of homes built in the subsequent decades formed a support to the welfare state, proposing a safety net that raised poor people out of squalid, congested slums countrywide. A large house-building programme was accepted out with the purpose of providing millions of people with high-quality homes. A housing bill approved in 1946 augmented Treasury supports for the building of local authority accommodation in England and Wales. Four out of five houses created under Labour were council possessions built to added generous stipulations than before the Second World War, and subventions kept down council rents. The new rows of social homes regularly acted as a catalyst to a better life – ‘council tenant made good’ tales are commonplace, yet true.

The New Towns Act of 1946 set up increase corporations to construct new towns, while the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 instructed county councils to formulate development plans and also provided required purchase powers. The Attlee government built more than a million homes between 1945 and 1951, with 80%of them being council homes with subsidised rents, as the nation rallied to reconstruct communities destroyed by Nazi bombs. The Attlee administration also prolonged the powers of local authorities to request houses and parts of houses, and made the achievement of land less problematic than before. In 1949, local authorities were allowed to provide people anguish from poor health with public housing at subsidised rents. This, and succeeding promises to social housing policy meant that by 1975, 80%of government spending on housing went on the capital asset on the supply side (building and maintaining social homes). To assist home ownership, the limit on the quantity of money that people could appropriate from their local authority in order to obtain or construct a home was raised from £800 to £1,500 in 1945 and to £5,000 in 1949, it is a higher number when inflation adjustments are made.

Overall, these guidelines delivered public-sector housing with its largest ever boost up until that point, while low-wage earners predominantly advanced from these developments. Although the Attlee direction failed to encounter its goals, primarily due to economic restraints, over a million new homes were built between 1945 and 1951 (a significant accomplishment under the conditions) which guaranteed that decent, reasonable housing was accessible to many low-income families for the first time ever.

The Attlee government made pronounced advances in refining women’s circumstances, and enlightening their opportunities: the 1949 Married Women (Restraint upon Restriction Act) was passed to “render inoperative any restrictions attached to the enjoyment of property by a woman,” making women more economically autonomous.

In an effort to evade the high unemployment of the thirties key segments of the economy were nationalised. The nationalisation agenda stood along the welfare state as the major inheritance of the Attlee Years, continuing for more than three decades.

The Atlee government nationalised a host of basic industries and utilities to create a public ownership of goods and services. Coal, the railways, the telephone network, electricity, gas, the steel industry, all become publicly owned and the former owners were recompensed.  By 1951, Attlee’s government had carried about 20%of the economy into public ownership. Other restructurings encompassed the creation of a National Parks system.

The managerial principle in nationalisation was that industry would be operated just like a private business using public companies and not directly by government branches. The old management persisted in place. The old owners received treasury bonds covering the full market value of their assets. It brought important material benefits to workers, including higher wages, reduced working hours, and much safer working circumstances. The notoriously dangerous mining industry was given some much needed reforms, counting a ban on boys under 16 being allowed to go underground. The role of labour was unaffected; collective negotiating remained the basis of mediation with management and the right to strike was unaffected. The explanation at the time was the necessity for upgrading and competence, objectives that interested to the middle class.

Agriculture received a top piece of legislation with the 1947 Agriculture Act. On the one hand, it pursued to produce a maintainable business in agriculture, but on the other, to safeguard that those who operated in the industry were able to do so in good circumstances. I was created the Agricultural Wages Board in 1948, which not only threatened wage levels, but also guaranteed that workers were provided with accommodation. Thus, in the postwar era, a Labour government required to create a reasonable society in rural areas. Attlee's government made it conceivable for farm workers to borrow up to 90% of the cost of construction their own houses, and expected a subsidy of £15 a year for 40 years towards that cost.

Expansion rights were also nationalised while the management attempted to take all enlargement profits for the State. Strong scheduling authorities were set up to control land use, and issued guides of supervision, which stressed the prominence of conservation of the agricultural land. A strong series of regional offices was set up within its scheduling ministry to provide a strong lead in regional development policies.

From 1945, Britain practiced an economic decline emphasized by the conclusion of World War II. The United Kingdom’s economic growth had been weakening since the 1870’s, but the economic cost of preserving Britain’s resistance against Hitler’s Germany amounted, agreeing to one estimate, to a quarter of Britain’s national wealth. By 1945, Britain had a vast quantity of labour tied up in the role of occupying Europe, the Far East and the Mediterranean; moreover, some four million personnel had been involved in munitions production. Despite being on the side of the winners, in the progression of nearly six years of military conflict, Britain had gone from being the ‘world’s greatest creditor’ to being the ‘world’s greatest debtor’. When the United States annulled its lend lease agenda in 1945, Great Britain was required to request an American loan that, if not given would, agreeing to John Maynard Keynes, mean a large scale withdrawal on [Britain’s] part from worldwide responsibilities. A loss of standing and global guidance was not something that the political establishments were willing to accept.  Even so, Britain’s national economy and the conduct of foreign policy remained inherently associated with ‘rising demands’ battling against ‘insufficient resources.’

Between 1946 and 1951, the UK enjoyed full employment and the economy grew at least 3%each year.  The UK economy outperformed the rest of Europe and living standards augmented by  10% a year.

The teachings of 1918 were knowledgeable, when Lloyd George’s Liberal Party promises of a land “fit for heroes” rang resonating. At the beginning of 1922, as the Lloyd George alliance entered its final year, unemployment in Britain had scaled to over two million. With the provisional exception of the winter of 1947, during the fuel shortage, the Attlee administration achieved virtual full employment; by July 1951, in its final summer, unemployment stood at just over 200,000.

There are teachings for today in what Clement Attlee accomplished for Britain and his priorities. He guaranteed that Britain after WWII was certainly “fit for heroes.” That Britain was a land where people could construct constant families by devising appropriate jobs and pensions, good housing, decent healthcare for all and be watched after and helped back onto their feet in times of need. Clement Attlee can rightly be judged on his performances and the instance he gave of a nation at ease with itself.

These great accomplishments are even more significant when measured in context. On 21 August 1945, at the end of the Second World War, the US sharply cut Britain’s supply lines. Lend-Lease, which had given Britain vital provisions in return for military bases, was finished at a stroke, and John Maynard Keynes unforgettably said that Britain faced a “financial Dunkirk”. But Attlee’s government was able to exchange a loan from the US in November 1945, when a line of credit of $3.75bn was made available. Britain also expected around $3bn dollars in Marshall Aid between April 1948 and December 1951. Yet this outside help should not diminish from the great credit the Attlee government merits for its administration of the enormous task of demobilisation.

But it was not all excellent. Attlee’s Britain was hit by severe economic storms. A balance of payments crisis in 1947 underdeveloped the economy and while the glitches were largely a product of the war – as well as a tarnished winter in 1947 – it is conceivable that a precipitate creation of the universal welfare state reserved a return to prosperity. The government was not effective in housing, which was the concern of Aneurin Bevan. The government had a mark to build 400,000 new houses a year to substitute those, which had been destroyed in the war, but lacks of resources and manpower meant that less than half this number were constructed.

This was the true Age of Austerity, with the government imposing even tighter rationing than throughout the war. Families were restricted to just 4oz of bacon a week, 2oz of butter, and a shilling’s worth of meat.

As a quantity of the dire nature of the economic situation, bread restricting was introduced in July 1946, something which had never occurred during the worst days of the war itself. The next day, Labour lost 10,000 votes in a by-election in Bexley where Edward Heath was the Conservative candidate. Nevertheless, the loan allowed the government to continue with its social programme. The government preserved most of the wartime controls over the economy, including control over the distribution of materials and manpower, and unemployment rarely rose above 500,000, or 3% of the total workforce.

The years 1945-47 were the high point of the Attlee government. After that, it faced ever increasing problems and growing discontent with Attlee’s guidance, although he faced no serious test, largely because there was no widely accepted replacement and he had the support of the trade union leadership, plus his own deft management of the situation.

Meanwhile, Cripps guaranteed that NHS and welfare spending never distended out of control, and kept consumer debt under strict limits to direct the nation’s economic dynamisms into manufacturing and exports.

Nevertheless, the most significant problem continued the economy; the war effort had left Britain virtually bankrupt. During the period of conversion to a peacetime economy, the preserving of strategic military pledges created an inequity of trade, and the dollar gap. This was mitigated by an American loan discussed by John Maynard Keynes and the devaluation of the pound in 1949, by Stafford Cripps. With retrospection, the economic recovery was moderately rapid, yet rationing and coal lacks would continue in the postwar years. Despite a succeeding corruption scandal, Attlee continued personally prevalent with the constituency.

Everyday life was dull and colourless. The Attlee years remained blighted by insufficient and insufficient housing. Living standards were a major issue because rationing was prolonged during the post-war era, and in 1946 bread was rationed for the first time. Housewives struggled to feed their families; prices rose; calorie intake for most people was under pre-war levels; and there were valuable few consumer goods on the shelves. This grey survival quickly fissured the unity of wartime. Britain was a country deeply uncertain of itself. As such while the era of Attlee exercises a significant hold over the national memory, it is correspondingly important to emphasise that Britain at this time was not a predominantly attractive place to live. Memory does play artifices, after all.

Much of the Labour Government’s foreign policy in the years 1945 to 1950 combined the political ideas of Earnest Bevin, a foreign secretary with a deep-rooted sense of fiscal management and an aptitude for financial obligation. For Bevin, British foreign policy was erected around “three main pillars…the Commonwealth, in some degree, Western Europe, and the United states.” All the pillars were observed as three ‘interlocking circles,’ an earlier Churchill idea in which each ring backed their own sense of standing to British foreign policy deliberations, and, together, a matter of matching Britain’s promises to all three. Bevin had recognised the need for a protective political ‘western bloc’ of European countries, but he also sustained closer economic and commercial co-operation that would deliver a single, self-supporting economic unit by combining the properties of the various countries concerned. It was expected the plan would help stimulate the continent and preserve a permanent peace in Europe, in part, to counter the strained dealings between Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States regarding the fate of East and Western Europe, but, principally, the future of Germany. The Treaty of Dunkirk between Britain and France was probably intended to ensure the restraint of Germany rather than a bid to contain Soviet growth. Although intended possibly as a ‘self-contained’ policy, the Treaty of Dunkirk may have been an extension of Bevin’s idea for a future ‘Western Union’, an eventual ‘third force’ that would control between Northern Europe and Southern Africa, autonomous from the United States and USSR spheres of stimulus. The same could be claimed for the Treaty of Brussels, although it has been suggested that Britain’s part in the agreements was one of supplying a hook to angle for American aid. Indeed, towards the end of the 1940’s, and although the ‘Western Union’ speech in January 1948, Bevin gradually seemed to realise that the United States was a vital element in safeguarding the defence of Western Europe, a task that Britain could not sufficiently fulfil. Closer economic ties would help Britain to create a stronger role in Europe, but Britain’s financial uncertainty would inspire Bevin to extend his ‘bloc’ to incorporate a ‘western union’ of fiscally sustainable countries. Although the Cold War played a part in defining the boundaries of the circle’s framework, financial deliberations would account for a considerable degree of policy formation and political strategy. With Bevin in responsibility, the attitude was that Britain’s economic complications were only temporary, and the conduct of British foreign policy was evaluated agreeing to the needs of Britain’s economic well-being. However, in 1945, Britain seemed to be as economically hurt and debilitated, as its major adversary in World War II, and Germany was supposed to be a key factor for future European permanency and the financial restoration of Great Britain.

In foreign affairs, Attlee’s cabinet was worried with four issues: Postwar Europe, the onset of the cold war, the formation of the United Nations, and decolonization. The first two were narrowly related, and Ernest Bevin supported Attlee in these matters. Attlee appeared the later stages of the Potsdam Conference in the company of Truman and Stalin.

However, there was an additional much superior reality: British devotion to, and even dependency on, the backing of the United States. He marked along with Washington in the occupation of Germany and the founding of Nato. He agreed in the new separation of Europe between east and west. He keenly did actions in the great airlift, which saved West Berlin from the Soviet obstruction of the late 1940s, and he sent British troops to South Korea to combat for the United Nations – under US leadership – against China and the North.

Moreover, in the appearance of foreign policy, Attlee persisted unafraid to suggest new ideas that overlooked the status quo. Although he was as equally opposite to the “Red Terror” as every other conventional politician, he notably one planned that “if the money wasted on arms could be used to help the less developed nations, that would probably be a greater blow against the Communist danger than anything else.”

The sudden, unanticipated cutoff of Lend Lease in September, 1945, was a hard blow to the treasury. Washington, however, was pleasant and provided a huge low interest loan of $3.75 billion in 1946, followed by Marshall Plan (“European Recovery Program”) grants of $3 billion. The cash was important, and the Marshall plan in adding encouraged the rapid transformation of British industry and business practises.

In an early good resolve sign much disapproved later, the Attlee government permitted the Soviets access, under the terms of a 1946 UK-USSR Trade Agreement, to numerous Rolls-Royce Nene jet devices. The Soviets, who at the time were well behind the West in jet equipment, reverse-engineered the Nene, and mounted their own version in the MiG-15 interceptor, used to military strength against U.S.-UK forces in the subsequent Korean War, as well as in numerous later MiG models.

By November 1948, the Marshall Plan backing from Washington had facilitated to close the gap between imports and exports and to balance Britain’s dollar account. Attlee could claim that Britain was making a considerable contribution to the renewal of the European economy under the inter-European outlays scheme. He was a prominent supporter of closer ties to Europe.

After Stalin took radical control of most of Eastern Europe and initiated to subvert other supervisions in the Balkans, Attlee’s and Bevin’s worst fears of Soviet purposes were borne out, and they developed involved in the creation of the fruitful NATO resistance association to protect Western Europe against any Soviet hostility. Attlee also guided Britain’s successful expansion of a nuclear weapon, although the first effective test did not occur until 1952, after he left office.

Along with Turkey, Greece persisted a country of strategic position to British comforts in the Mediterranean, and it was felt that Turkey might accede to Soviet diplomatic weight, possibly inducing a ‘domino effect’ of countries falling to Communist development. While Turkey’s position was fragile, war and German business had left the Greek arrangement economically and materially devastated. The cost of backing the Greek army in its fight against communist partisans had proved excessive for the British government, and despite Bevin’ unwillingness to end for the last time the British manifestation in Greece, the Foreign Secretary felt the drain on Britain’s properties in associate Greek resistance. In January 1947, Bevin had planned that at least a separation of British troops should continue in Greece until a time when Soviet troops in Bulgaria became less intimidating and when American help could be approaching. However, economic complications including a serious dollar gap predestined that by February, Britain informed Washington that unless America was willing to help Greece, Britain could no lengthier support the Greek armed forces after April. Although British troops sustained to maintain a limited existence until ‘rebel forces’ were overcome in Greece, Bevin did manage to get American commercial and financial aid and some $400 million was protected by America to sustenance the situation in Turkey and Greece, thus, dropping at least one aspect of Britain’s foreign spending.

Although sporadically expressing doubt about the degree of British military pledges overseas, Attlee firmly maintained the view of his foreign secretary, Bevin, that fronting the Soviet threat prerequisite constructing up the military power of the West and preserving the commitment of the United States to the protection of western Europe. Attlee’s government was a key designer of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of 1949.

For Britain, the rebuilding of Germany had consequences for Britain’s domestic economic situation and on her own foreign policy. It was projected that by 1947, the cost to Britain for preserving its engaged zone was £130 million. German remilitarisation was a way to stabilise the Western European economies, but for Britain, as the occupant of Germany’s major industrial region, foreign policy decisions would prove to be difficult and Britain’s own economic situation continued a crucial factor in the preparation of a policy toward Germany. Although Britain achieved to relieve some of its financial liability by resolving an agreement with the United States to ‘fuse’ the two zones engaged by America and Britain, the cost of profession remained preventive. The problem was one of supervision to produce a balanced economy in Germany that would not impede Britain’s own domestic rebuilding. Britain required providing Germany with a rational level of economic stability, but, for the time being, Bevin ruled out German military arming as the answer to the economic administration of Germany’s industrial centres. Britain wanted to limit certain businesses (capped level of Industry plan in 1946) to prevent a growing Germany from again fetching a military risk, but the problem shaped a conflict of minimising possible military violence against domestic economic deliberations. With France being possibly the most significant ally for Britain in the rebuilding of Europe, Britain desired to take into description French fears of a remilitarised Germany. Since 1945, the Foreign Office had watched British and French relations as a key factor in the formation of a Western Union. As Britain’s financial position worsened towards the end of 1946, disapproval to economic co-operation with the French inaugurated to grow in Whitehall and from the Treasury and the Board of Trade. Growing scepticism felt that an increase in Anglo-French trade would not decide Britain’s economic problems, and, as a result, tension advanced between the necessities of foreign economic policy and the needs of the British economy. With concerns to the future of Germany, France required a system that combined an independent and international supervision of the Ruhr, but Bevin opposed such an idea and maintained a plan for the major manufacturing areas to persist a part of Germany but measured by a consortium of states. To a point then, Britain’s economic difficulties affected the landscape of Anglo French relations. Not only was the French evidencing an objectionable option in an Anglo-European strategy to improve Britain’s economic situation, moreover, German equipment may have motivated a measure of revenge from Moscow, and in the early post-war years Britain struggled to retain an appeasing approach to the USSR. Perhaps most particularly as far as the British foreign policy was concerned, if West Germany was reinforced, it could have provoked compression on the western allies. One explanation was for Britain to progressively eliminate the existing limits of German manufacturing that would support her to contribute in the various European economic organisations, thus eliminating a drain on British properties. When North Korean troops invaded South Korea, the Pentagon mentioned the establishment of German units within NATO and put compression on Britain to re-evaluate its policy to Germany in a bid to settle the ERP with German arming. By 1951, Britain decided that Germany should assume a satisfactory influence in some form or another to western defence, maybe the most conclusive step in British procedure to Germany.

In terms of general security, Attlee understood that the financial crisis limited his choices. Britain could no lengthier support the Greeks in their civil war against Communists, so Attlee influenced the Americans to take over this role, whist Truman did when he proclaimed the Truman Plan in 1947. However he could and did build a strong armed by transitory the National Service Act of 1947 which for the first time in British history called for amity conscription to operate the army. In 1947, Attlee, against strong antagonism, obvious to construct an atomic bomb, driving Britain to its own dissuasion and a showier voice in world matters.

In the instantaneous aftermath of the war, the management faced the experiment of managing relations with Britain’s former war-time ally, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union. Attlee’s Foreign Secretary, the previous trade union leader Ernest Bevin, was fervently anti-communist, based fundamentally on his involvement of fighting communist effect in the trade’s union associations. Attlee’s cabinet was active in endorsing the American Marshall Plan for the economic retrieval of Europe, fighting communism expansion.

Although some authors have observed Britain’s post-war location and following policy as a lost opportunity for intensive European assimilation, it is hard to validate such prerogatives when seeing the quantity of modern position positioned on Britain’s imperial interests, particularly as the Empire had been the column upon which British wealth and global standing refreshed. Indeed, it has been advocated that the post-war Empire was vivacious for Britain to preserve trading arrangements within a significant group of republics still using sterling as their interchange currency. In addition, one estimation perceives that for as long as Britain held onto the imposing territories, the country was regarded. However, the Empire provided Great Britain with appreciated possessions such as tin, oil, and rubber, providing an economic advantage that the Labour Government were indisposed to let go, in adding, Africa and India could have been utilised as capitals for European speculation. However, the Empire preserved a large British armed force demanding a much-needed work strength to help increase the domestic economy by guardianship the factories a basis of viable and lucrative production. Some form of stability was needed amid the realistic cost of preserving imperial assets and the price of motivating an economic regaining back on home coasts. In 1945, Bevin informed the Cabinet that Britain faced an impasse of differing comforts. As well as revitalising Britain’s commercial condition, the Government were determined on curing the disproportion within Britain’s social class configuration and the maintenance of foreign worries could constrain this aim.

Attlee’s government acquired workplace in a world varying at disconcerting speed. The war had counterfeit new associations, the maximum and most imprecise of all the United Nations. The USA and the USSR were acknowledged superpowers; Britain and France deluded themselves that they remained too.

A plan to deliver a ‘Social and Economic Policy’ for India was excluded in the post-war months simply because the plan could not be have enough money in bright of the requirement for the instant restoration of the domestic economy. The choice was taken to end Britain’s economic tasks on the Indian landform, and in August 1947 India expanded its ‘independence’ but split concerning the two territories of India and Pakistan. Although Britain may have misplaced its ‘Jewel in the Crown,’ warning reproach of a ‘divide and quit’ policy inside the British Government, and in part replicating a supposed weakening of the Empire, it has been recommended that the Government in fact saw Indian autonomy as a progressive plan of measured decolonisation. Certainly, a post-independent India sustained to deliver a level of investment and trade, and Pakistan usually continued its status as a consistent ally. The condition in the Middle East would demonstrate to be more thought-provoking. Britain had articulated a plan to decide the struggle between the Jewish and Arab peoples in Palestine, but an American refusal of the arrangement distressed Britain to surrender its ability in the region in May 1948. Although the pronouncement to resign was in part driven by public opinion, a chief deliberation was the financial price of preserving concord in the area. Between 1945 and 1947, the ‘Palestine problem’ had cost the Labour Government £100 million, and by the period of the 1947 economic crisis, with no marks of a viable perseverance, the British finished their role in the area. Despite the subsequent conflict amid the Arabs and Jews being answerable upon imperialistic mismanagement, it has been advised that the result was a consequence of an unsuitable wisdom of fair performance on the part of a decolonising government. To a fact, the Government’s policy creators guaranteed that the cost of upholding a Commonwealth was concentrated, but at the identical time, the mainstream of the new territories continued a powerful part of Britain’s worldwide position and an ongoing image of world ability. Certainly, the Government fairly transformed its method to the Commonwealth in that, notwithstanding the amounts of money tangled, funds were set away for Colonial welfare and growth programmes, and India, Pakistan and Ceylon engaged a degree of influence and allegiance in British affairs. This state of affairs intended that such nations could still play a conceivable role in Bevin’s plan for a distended description of his ‘western union’ plan that comprised colonial and dominion properties.

One of the most crucial difficulties alarmed the upcoming of the Palestine Mandate. This was a much disliked promise and the clearing of British crowds and following administering over of the subject to the UN was extensively maintained by the public.

In the far east, the ashes of nationalism had been stimulated into flame by the fierce progress and succeeding persistent retreat of Japan. Britain’s disreputable capitulation of Singapore in 1941 had sent a clear indication to Asia that the days of European colonialism were numbered.

The breakdown of British imperial power – all but comprehensive by the mid-1960s – can be outlined straight to the influence of World War II.

The calamitous British overthrows in Europe and Asia between 1940 and 1942 demolished its financial and economic independence, the real basis of the imperial system.

Britain had endured the war, but its affluence, stature and power had been rigorously condensed.

It also removed the old equilibrium of influence on which British safety had mainly be subject to colonialsm.

Attlee’s cabinet was accountable for the major and highest act of decolonisation in the British Empire—India. The divider of India rapidly created Pakistan, which then combined East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The freedom of Burma and Ceylon was also discussed around this time. Some of the new nations became British Dominions, the origin of the contemporary Commonwealth of Nations.

With retrospection it was a consecration for Britain, as well as for its vast figures of topics around the world, that Winston Churchill lost the 1945 election. The old soldier was, at sentiment, a Victorian idealistic, desperately in love with the passion of empire. His aversion to India’s independence struggle, in precise, was well proven. But Attlee accepted that the British Raj was condemned. He had been to Haileybury College, after all, and had compensated an authorized visit to India in 1929. Even if the Prime Minister had harboured any impressions about Britain’s duty to its 300m Indian topics, Washington constantly reminded him that the US would not stand the extension of empire. Wisely, he curved to the unavoidable, and equipped for departure.

Britain expected that a self-governing India would endure part of the imperial defence.Within months of the end of the war, it was patently understandable that Britain lacked the means to defeat a rehabilitated mass campaign by the Congress. Its bureaucrats were tired and troops were deficient.


Nevertheless, the British still wanted that a self-governing India would continue as a portion of their system of ‘imperial defence’. For this aim, Britain was anxious to keep India (and its army) united. These hopes came to nonentity.


By the time that the last viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, arrived in India, Congress and its frontrunner Jawaharlal Nehru had initiated to consent that except they agreed to divider, they risked a descent into disorder and collective war before influence could be moved from British into Indian hands.It was missing to Mountbatten to phase a rapid assignment to two successor supervisions (India and Pakistan).


Nevertheless, straight as it attempted departure, Britain was to visit two tragedies on the subcontinent. One was Attlee’s appointment of Lord Mountbatten as the last Viceroy. Proud, exasperated, and impressively proud, he took to the opulence and the raw control of the job with unholy enjoyment.

Mountbatten decided that freedom would arise on August 1947, on the second anniversary of the day he had established the capitulation of the Japanese in south-east Asia. Nothing was to position in the way of this vainglory – not even the unsettled matter of Muslim anxieties for a separate state, and the congregation storm hazes of collective ferocity.

In a few summer weeks, colonial domestics scrawled positions across the map of the enormous subcontinent, figure East and West Pakistan out of Mother India, and flashing an atrocity so unpleasant that no one to this day knows precisely how many masses died. The holocaust would kill Mahatma Gandhi, the predecessor of free India and of independence movements universally, who was murdered months after liberation. Thus ended 300 years of history, and 90 years of Raj. King George VI would be the last British sovereign to tell himself emperor of India.

Attlee´s government strategies with concern to the other colonies, however, mostly those in Africa, were very dissimilar. These originated under an unparalleled degree of straight device from London, as expansion arrangements were applied with a opinion to assisting elucidate Britain’s despairing post-war balance of payments crisis, and raising African living criteria. This “new colonialism” was, however, commonly a fiasco.

There was an additional overseas withdrawal, in a way just as shameful, on the extreme west of Asia. For just over a quarter of a century British supervisors had tried, and on the completely unsuccessful, to make sagacity of their League of Nations (later United Nations) order to rule Palestine. They tried division, pacification, management and plain pressure. Nothing facilitated moderate the bloody friction concerning the increasing tide of Jewish settlers and the natural Palestinians.

The huge wisdom of liberation at a more or less honorable exit, and much grandiloquence, masked the element that the end of the Raj was a astounding disappointment for British world power.

Britain had misplaced the colony that had delivered much of its military muscle east of Suez, as well as reimbursing ‘rent’ for the ‘hire’ of much of Britain’s own military.


The burden of the domain defence cleaned back to a Britain that was both fragile and inferior than it had been before 1939.

Britain was outshined by two new superpowers, the United States and Soviet Union.


For these motives, it may seem peculiar that the loss of India did not lead to a radical reassessment of Britain’s world interests and a ‘timely’ choice to abandon its guarantees from the Caribbean to Hong Kong.

Britain was now outshined by the United States and Soviet Union, its domestic economy had been really weakened and the Labour government had boarded on a huge and expensive agenda of social improvement.

The end of the World War II carried new waves of immigrants from Nazi oppression to the seashores of the holy land, and the conflict converted more profane than ever. Washington was inflexible that nonentity should position in the way of the formation of Israel and when the order finally driveled into the history in May 1948, the new nation was born, struggling for its lifetime.

Attlee and Bevan believed Britain’s commercial repossession and the persistence of sterling as a great trading currency requisite closer combination with the old ‘white’ dominions, especially Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.


The ‘sterling area’, which comprised the empire, Commonwealth (the main omission was Canada) and some other nations, accounted for half of the world’s trade in the early post-war years.

British frontrunners had no hesitation that Britain must sustain its position as the third great power.


The British were also resolute to possess the tropical colonies more successfully because their cocoa, rubber and tin could be sold for needed dollars.


Nor was it just an economic imperative. Britain’s planned defence touching the new Soviet danger requisite forward air bases from which to bomb Southern Russia – the industrial arsenal of the Soviet Union. That intended remaining on in the Middle East even after the interruption of British control in Palestine and its quick withdrawal in 1948.


In Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and the Gulf, the British were resolute to hang on to their agreements and bases, counting the vast Suez canal zone. They required help from Australia and wanted for Indian support against Soviet encouragement in Asia.


Elsewhere Britain’s imperial power continued complete. The Union flag still hovered over enormous areas of Africa, whole islands in the Caribbean and Pacific and countries of Asia like Singapore and Hong Kong.

It is appealing to contemplate of the Attlee ages as an anti-climax. After the appeal of victory, the concord was a colorless dissatisfaction. After all the enthusiastic potentials of a new dawn, British life continued to a large degree depressing. At periods, food limitations were even tighter than throughout the war and bread was restricted for the first time. Class hostilities flourished; social and economic disparities remained tangible.

Labour was hurt when middle class housewives began to establish in contradiction of its policies. The “tripartite” system of power division among government, business and unions left the customer in the emotionless, and they progressively disliked it. The British Housewives’ League (BHL) was real in talking for consumers, thus facilitated shift the expressions of the discussion, and set up the Labour party overthrow in 1951. BHL women objected continuing limiting during 1946-47. Their exclusivity as a political group was in production home life into a thought to combat what they supposed as Labour imposition and the Conservatives who conciliated it.

Britain in the Attlee years altered more than under any other government, before or since. The health improvements, and to a slighter degree the test of state control of industry, had a deep effect on the way the people saw themselves and their country. And what they saw, on the full, was attractive. However, elections arrived and people wanted something different.

In 1950, after five arduous years, it was unavoidable that the great electoral tide of 1945 would be twisted. But in the general election of that year the Labour vote immersed less than 2%, and it was only the notions of the first past the post system that saw the Conservatives gain 88 seats.

In this general election of February 1950, Attlee’s parliamentary majority was reduced to six, and his administration was further debilitated in April 1951 by the resignations of Bevan and Harold Wilson over the institution of health-service charges. In the autumn of 1951, Attlee decided to ask for a suspension of Parliament, which occasioned in a narrow Conservative victory and Attlee’s resignation from the prime ministership. Labour lost power in 1951 as the Conservatives won and Churchill resumed to power. As the consequences came in, it became clear that Winston Churchill had won his first general election. However, the majority was not as huge as many of his factions had expected. The Tories polled 48% of the vote and won 321 seats to Labour's 295 seats. The Conservatives appreciated a swing from Labour of just over 1%. Despite polling nearly 14 million votes, the record number of votes detailed by any British political party in any election to that time, Labour lost. Attlee remained on as leader until the next defeat in 1955. Churchill made him an Earl and he was energetic in the  House of Lords until his death.

Economic Cycles (1945-1951)

After the destruction of World War II, the UK economy, measured by gross domestic product as an indicator of domestic production, maintained a sustained growth of over 3% year on year. This was remarkable to an environment of broad fiscal reforms and was supported by the extensive growth in Western Europe after the war, especially the case of West Germany.

During Clement Atlee government the rising prices of goods and services remained at low levels in the beginning. However it come to exceed 9% in 1951, possibly because of the harmful effects of the devaluation of sterling, measure to boost exports over imports but would affect the purchasing power of the national currency.

Despite the creation of numerous social programs, public spending in relation to domestic production declined markedly during the early years reaching 39,21% in 1948 compared to 70.34% of the beginning of its mandate, recording its lowest in 1950 with 35.89% level. This happened for the significant reduction in defence budgets, resulting from the end of the Second World War. This behavior favored increasing the budget in other sectors such as health and education. In 1951, the indicator reached 38.01% at the increase in the defence budget in the framework of the Korean War.

Health expenditures marked a steady increase of 1.42% to 3.37% in relation to gross domestic product. This behavior arises from the formation of the NHS and universal free medical care services began in the mandate of Clement Atlee. These achievements were no similar precedent in any previous government.

Public spending on education in relation to the domestic product expanded significantly during the government of Clement Atlee with very high levels of growth that led from 2.35% in 1945 to 4.24% in 1950. The following year this relationship fell to 3.28% before the accumulated economic growth and high inflation, although it remained higher than the beginning of his mandate. This was the first time in history that public spending on education was lower health spending.

Expenditure on welfare exponential growth achieved during the first years of Clement Atlee government to reach 3.18% in relation to the gross domestic product in 1948 from 1.71% in 1945. Subsequently this indicator was gradually reduced to 2.64% in 1951 at constant economic growth, which in turn decreased the persons suitable for programs.

Expenditure on pensions to the elderly increased markedly in 1948 in correlation with the GDP reaching 2.96% compared with 0.90% the previous year and 0.40% early in his mandate. Then gradually it decreased to reach 1.98% in 1951 by higher economic growth, low population aging and the rise in inflation in the last year.

Defence spending went through notable falls after the end of World War II, reaching 6.04% in 1950 from the very high figure of 52.01% in 1945 compared to domestic production. Then it would rise to 9.86% in 1951 against the Korean War.

The relation between public revenue and gross domestic product rose to 37.82% in 1946 from 37.33% in 1945, falling to 33.87% in 1948. Subsequently increase to 40.41% in 1950 and end 1951 with 37.69%. High taxes were necessary to finance new social programs and maintain fiscal responsibility.

The relation between public personal income taxes and gross domestic product fell from 20.30% in 1945 to 11.90% in 1948 by reducing high taxes in wartime. Then amount to 13.56% in 1950, to be reduced to 12.41% in 1951.

Public revenues by national insurance arise in 1947 and its relation to the gross domestic product was 1.73%. As the system was consolidated, it increased to 3.28% in 1950, falling slightly to 3.00% in 1951.

The relation between public revenues from indirect taxes and gross domestic product rose to 16.42% in 1946, falling to 15.26% in 1947. In 1949 it reach up to 16.02% to 14.37% reduced to in 1951.

The relation between business taxes and other public revenue and gross domestic product rose steadily to 6.67% in 1950 from 1.18% in 1945, falling slightly to 6.63% in 1951.

The budget deficit adjusted for depreciation of 3.16% in 1947 would arrive surplus in 1948, which was made possible by the reduction of the military budget at the end of World War II, as well as high government revenue that accompanied the economic growth. This trend would be sustained to reach the 6.33% surplus in 1950 and decreased slightly to 5.62 % in 1951 amid the start of the Korean War and the subsequent defence spending that followed.

Public debt relative to gross domestic product would reach a record high of 237.94% in 1947, but thanks to economic growth and large fiscal surplus achieved significantly reduced it, reaching 175.34% in 1951, as a symbol of fiscal responsibility in Clement Atlee government.

Reducing public debt allowed the public interest expenses were reduced steadily from 5.84% in 1947 to 4.01% in 1951. This fall enabled the Labour government focus public spending on beneficial functions for society as health, education and social assistance.

Introducing Western Cycles: United Kingdom

Although the UK was one of the winners of the Second World War, the abrupt aftermath was one of unembellished hardship. More than 4 million houses had been devastated and for the first time since the 18th century, the United Kingdom converted a debtor country. Energy deficiencies, gas limiting and scarce nutrition and accommodation and unemployment touching 2.3 million, all added to the nation's complications. But leaders arose and the country ascended again. Western Cycles: United Kingdom describes all the governments that followed the end of the Second World War to the present, analyzing the economic characteristics of each period and the challenges faced in the nation. How Clement Attlee created the welfare state? How Winston Churchill faced the Malayan Emergency? How Anthony Eden responded to the Suez crisis? How Harold Macmillan managed to turn the country into nuclear power? What would make Alec Douglas-Home in just one year in office? What social changes were made during the administrations of Harold Wilson? How Edward Heath dealt with unions? What meant the Winter of Discontent for James Callaghan? Why Margaret Thatcher is admired and hated at the same time? Why John Major legalized lottery? What was the political cost of the Iraq War for Tony Blair? How Gordon Brown responded to the Great Recession? Have austerity measures of David Cameron working correctly? The answers are in Western Cycles: United Kingdom.

  • ISBN: 9781370675906
  • Author: Alejandro Puerto Hernández
  • Published: 2016-09-02 17:20:11
  • Words: 12410
Introducing Western Cycles: United Kingdom Introducing Western Cycles: United Kingdom