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Social change and the prosperity of the 1950s were the most important reasons for the Conservative dominance from 1951 to 1960. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

Social change and the prosperity of the 1950s were the most important reasons for the Conservative dominance from 1951 to 1960. How far do you agree? The Conservatives remained in power between 1951 and 1960 for many reasons, some of which being the social change and the economy and improving lifestyle in this time. However, there were also potentially more important reasons for their dominance, such as their avoidance of what could have been a disaster with the Suez crisis. As well as this, their economy had many critics and could be seen as not particularly successful at all. A major part of the Conservative manifesto preceeding their 1951 election victory was their welfare policies. A major lifestyle improvement derived from their manifesto included the availability of credit: money that people could borrow instead of saving, allowing them to buy things they previously couldn't afford and pay the money back on 'easy terms'. Ordinary working class people could now access luxury items, sparking a consumer boom between 1950-65. People clearly enjoyed these changes and percieved the economy to be thriving under the Conservative rule, making it a reason for which they would continue voting for the Conservatives and keep them in power. ...read more.

Middle

He produced The Salmon Report, which listed reasons that Lord Salmon suggested to be most important, such as sexual jealousy (black males dating white women), bitterness at rising rent prices and anger of white males at the willingness of black males to work for lower wages. It was clear that not everyone was welcoming to immigrants. As a result of The Salmon Report, the Conservative government brought in the Commonwealth Immigrants Act in 1962, something that despite being perceived as being racist (it primarily tried to cut down on immigration) and being highly controversial, also soothed the minds of people in Britain who were worried about immigration 'getting out of control'. A lot of British people would have been pleased with this and therefore more likely to give the Conservatives their vote, making it another reason why they stayed dominant. However, the economy was not working smoothly during this time. The Conservatives had no concievable long-term economic plan, usually sticking to what became known as "stop and go stagflation" and using the economy to manipulate votes. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also disagreed over issues such as whether or not the party should go for socialist policies, like nationalism, and were highly split over the idea of unilateralism. All in all, Labour's faultiness and failures were undesirable and only helped the Conservatives to gain more votes. In conclusion, the social change and economy were the most important reasons for why the Conservatives stayed dominant during this time. Most importantly was the economy; it played a huge role in the availability of credit and the property owning democracy, two major things which helped to gain the Conservatives the most support. The availability of credit, which led to luxury items becoming affordable, seemed such a massive step up from Labour's government (when rationing was still in place) that people would not want to return to a Labour government as they did genuinely feel like it had never been so good. Although underneath the surface of credit and mortgages, the economy was not in a good state, this was not apparant to the public and people only experienced the positive changes that the Conservatives made, which is why it is the most important reason for why they stayed dominant. ...read more.

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