• 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. To what extent was Mary, Queen of Scots the major cause of instability in ...

    They did not want a royal supremacy or bishops and as such they threatened Elizabeth's desire for uniformity. However the Separatist movement was not united, and after the publication of the Marprelate Tracts (condemning the Anglican Church and Elizabeth) many people disassociated themselves from the group.

  2. How far do you agree that Chamberlain's behaviour during the Czech crisis of September ...

    Chamberlain also did not slow down Britain's rearmament process, suggesting that he still expected war. This makes him a shrewd politician. Also source 8 says that 'Hitler resented his own failure...to eliminate and take Czechoslavakia...' This is an area in which Chamberlain was successful, because the Nazi party was facist, believing that violence is good.

  1. 19th Century Public Health

    He was the man who campaigned and eventually got the first public health act through to parliament. Punch is seen in the right of the drawing, and was a character that represented the ordinary people. He can be seen to be holding his nose almost to say "we need reform".

  2. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of women in Richard III. Are they convincing characters?

    At this point, Lady Anne absolutely loathes Richard. It is ironic that she agrees to marry him knowing at some point she'll be killed. It also suggests that her curse is somewhat false. The purpose of this scene is for Lady Anne to get married, as part of the historical

  1. Do you agree with the findings of the Hunter Committee that the Amritsar Massacre ...

    These acts forced, the trigger, for the people of Amritsar to protest at Jallianwala Bagh. It was the government that passed the highly unpopular and unsuccessful Rowlatt Acts, had they not the whole event would have been prevented. The 'Crawling Order' that was installed by General Dyer was in place

  2. To what extent did the hunger strikes in Northern Ireland become the most successful ...

    The opposition to the nationalist was far too intense (John Hume, the leader of the SDLP from 1979 said, "I grew up in Derry and it was the worst example of Northern Ireland's discrimination.") and perhaps these marches were too radical, thus causing violence and perhaps being the main cause for the beginning of the violence.

  1. Religion was the most serious problem facing Elizabeth in 1558? How far do you ...

    Finance was also a major issue for Elizabeth. Money was important; it gave a country security and presented the idea of wealth and power - a good image. Without this Elizabeth and England would be weak. Elizabeth had inherited around £300,000 in debt from Mary, a huge sum of money.

  2. What was the impact of the Poor Law Amendment Act on the relief of ...

    The Speenhamland system was introduced in 1795. It was a system of providing support calculated by linking the minimum wage of labourers to the price of bread. Unfortunately the system was never given official backing, which led to the complete abandonment of it.

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