• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'How far did the changes of the 1960s in Britain create a 'permissive society'?'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'How far did the changes of the 1960s in Britain create a 'permissive society'?' Whilst there are slight variations amongst those who wish to define a permissive society, they all appear to agree it is a society of sexual liberation. From looking closely at the changes, for example new liberalising laws that were introduced such as the Abortion and Divorce Reform Act, it can be shown that 'sexual intercourse began in nineteen sixty-three' (Philip Larkin). The Abortion Act of 1967 legalised abortion in the United Kingdom up to 28 weeks gestation, however the question is what change this brought. When examining society prior to 1967 100,000-200,000 illegal abortion took place per year. Source C suggests that there wasn't a permissive society by claiming that although people had more freedom, they didn't use it, 'they did not necessarily exercise that freedom', however after legalisation the number of abortions increased from 35,000 a year in 1968 to 141,000 a year in 1975. ...read more.

Middle

However, in 1959 the Obscene Publications Act was passed and stated that in adult literature those which can be classed as 'in the interests of science, literature, art or learning' should be exempt from censorship. Therefore this allowed what had once been deemed shocking to become more acceptable, for example, the previously banned novel Lady Chatterley's Lover (which contained sexually explicit content) was allowed to be re-published. After the re-publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover censorship increasing worse away, for example pornographic novels such as Fanny Hill were published. Although source B suggests that the Obscene Publications Act was unpopular, 'unmitigated disaster', those against the Act were few in number and rising acceptance of the reduction of censorship in literature shows that society was becoming increasingly permissive. Due to the British Board of film censors, censorship lasted longer on screen and films were subject to strict categorisation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Before the 1960s women were encouraged to give up their job and personal independence when married or on the arrival of their first child and it was seen as their duty to be a good wife and mother. However, the introduction of the oral contraceptive pill and the Divorce Reform Act society became permissive. Women were able take away the inevitability of pregnancy and plan their lives, including careers. The Divorce Reform Act proved to show that marriage was becoming less important. Referring back to source C's claim that these changes did not create a permissive society due to people not using their freedom, 'they did not necessarily exercise that freedom', it can be shown that a permissive society was created due to these changes as the number of illegitimate births rose from 5.8 per cent to 8.2 per cent and as mentioned earlier, the number of marriages ending in divorce rose. As can be seen, due to an accumulation of reduced censorship and liberalising laws, there was a permissive society in Britain. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The author has a clear knowledge of the key legal changes that allowed for a permissive society but the central debate is missed; do these legal reforms reflect or create British society in the 1960s? Only one side of the debate is really addressed. 3 out of 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 16/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Liberal Reforms (1906-1914)

    4 star(s)

    stiff penalties were brought in for shops selling alcohol or tobacco to children. Furthermore, children were forbidden to beg, young offenders were no longer to be tried in the ordinary courts but in new juvenile courts, and remand homes were set up to keep child offenders out of prison whilst waiting for trial.

  2. Constitutional Nationalism succeeded in achieving its aims whereas revolutionary nationalism failed and cultural nationalism ...

    O'Connell also sought an Irish House of Commons asking that the British, "restore to Ireland her parliament" in 1834, deeming it, "the justice we require."

  1. How successfully did the Liberal Reforms 1906-14 meet the social needs of the British ...

    people were insured against unemployment and sickness "it left the adult citizen alone". In contrast, Peter Clark argues that even though the reforms were limited, they by-passed the Poor Laws and brought in a system which won approval. Martin Pugh stands somewhere in the middle, his argument being that the

  2. Compare the character of Joseph and CharlesAnd discuss how their attitudes reflect those of ...

    Although Charles denies himself all of the money gained from the sale and his first act is to get Rowley to deliver one hundred pounds to Mr Stanley, an action Mr Rowley finds imprudent. Charles, again is able to defend his position with a witty epigram, rather than with one

  1. What Was The Main Cause Of The First English Civil War?

    Everyone was made to bear its expense and it proved fatally unpopular as it faced much opposition, especially in the years 1635 and 1636 when the second and third writs were issued. Charles pursued the collection of this in time of peace, contrasting to the reigns of Edwards I and

  2. "William Wilberforce was primarily responsible for the abolition of the Slave Trade in the ...

    1792, yet due to his lack of organisation and research, it was rejected by the Lords. When the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed Wilberforce was hailed as a hero, yet the passing of the Act was certainly not purely his achievement, as alone he would have

  1. Why did Pitt dominate politics 1783-93?

    This was a great success and Pitt had gained Britain the allies of Prussia and Holland. The accomplishment of gaining allies and the showing of good judgement meant that his support grew even more from the MP?s and Lords, after the problems with losing America.

  2. Using these three sources in their historical context, assess how far they support the ...

    It wasn?t until 1936 that everyone noticed the German as a threat to European peace. This is because in 1936, Germany had remilitarise the Rhineland and had taken back their industrial area from France. I would see this as the turning point for British people because they finally listened to the warnings of Churchill about Germany.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work