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

The Changing Standards of Living During the 1950's.

Extracts from this document...


The Changing Standards of Living During the 1950's After the war in 1945 people's attention was focussed onto rebuilding Britain to improve problems that already existed and had worsened during this period. These were things like unemployment and poor housing. Britain trying to rebuild itself For Britain to begin to rebuild itself, large imports of food, iron ore, wool and cotton had to be brought in to help people survive. To pay for all the things needed, the amount of exportations taking place from Britain had to increase dramatically. The newly elected Labour Government had a big task on their hands of making sure that people didn't starve. So what they did was borrow millions of pounds to buy food and materials needed and the debts created were paid of by the amount of exports. Because of this all the best things in Britain were exported. This meant that there was still a shortage of things like clothes so rationing continued. Housing was another extremely serious issue in Britain. As the war ended there were millions of slums and the problem wasn't helped by the fact that many houses were still war damaged. ...read more.


The people may not have liked these policies but the standards of living did increase and the country brought in more money. By 1954 there was an increase in electrical goods being exported as well as cars, aircraft and chemicals. Because of the Korean War in 1950, the money that should have been spent on food, clothes and hospitals was spent on arms but three years later the war ended, prices fell and taxes were lowered. Now the items which had only been used for export, were readily available. Unfortunately unemployment also began to increase. This was because there wasn't enough goods to use up all of the extra money so higher wages and lower taxes meant that prices rose and goods weren't so easy to sell abroad. Taxes were then put up and it was made more difficult for people to borrow money. As fewer goods were sold there was less jobs. On the whole the nation was more prosperous. Between 1952 and 1963 the number of homes with a TV increased for 11% to 85%, washing machines from 10% to 52%, refrigerators from 6% to 37% and vacuum cleaners from 40% to 80%. ...read more.


Holidays were taken and the number of people going abroad for their holidays doubled. There was an increase in expensive sports like sailing and rowing. Cinema viewing decreased due to the amount of people with televisions but was replaced with Bingo clubs, which many people joined. Public Houses were popular with women also going to them. The amount of sales concerning spirits and other drinks soared. Football and cricket were becoming ever popular, and so was the gambling involved with them too. By looking at the 1950's you can see that people in post-war Britain who had nothing, seemed to have a whole new life by the mid to late 1950's. This had a lot to do with the way that the country was run and the Government controlling it. Considering that people were homeless and worried about their financial situation, I think it is a great change in standards seeing that most of them ended up with countless leisure activities they could participate in. Obviously not everyone could afford to do everything but even today you get the brake down of people into classes and the difference in the activities they can afford. Popular Culture in Britain in the late 1940's and 1950's Sophie Wright Changing Standards of Living 1960's ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Economy & Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Economy & Economics essays

  1. Case Study: The Home Depot

    Using their expansion experience from the past, they become bigger and bigger on the international market also. They are already quiet successful on the Canadian market with stores in seven provinces and have also almost 5 years of experience on the Mexican market.

  2. Free essay

    Globalisation & changing career patterns

    to the organisation, as labour in an emerging market was significantly cheaper than in the UK. The fact the world is now classed as a smaller place, due to advancements in technology, has allowed these organisations to move their basic services to countries outside of the UK.

  1. Critically evaluate the perceived competitive starategies of the five clothing retail outlets, namely Edgars, ...

    Firms now are allowed to move into foreign direct investment the equivalent of $10.5 million for each new project -- not a huge sum, but more than before. The reserve bank also issued a rule recently that allows South African firms to use their domestic cash reserves as security for foreign financing for outward investment.

  2. Differences between the standards of living in Slovakia and The Hague

    The full questionnaire is on the last page. Number of tourists Tourists 14 Inhabitants 64 This question shows how many tourists we met which might give us an idea of what the percentage of tourism was in the country. Problem with this is that we have been interviewing in Centrum

  1. what are the problems of trying to compare living standards

    The two countries may provide other differences in 'quality of life' which are even more difficult to reflect in terms of a monetary value eg feeling of safety from attack, freedom to express ones view without fear of retribution. Other factors that make international comparisons difficult might inculde vatiations between

  2. Split Votes: A Nation Divided on the Marijuana/Drug Legalization Debate

    Few in-depth economic reports on the subject are readily available. This may be due to the fact that there are numerous variables to consider when analyzing the costs and benefits of legalization. What exactly is a "cost" of drug use?

  1. Discuss the view that economic growth leads to improvements in people's standards of living.

    Economic growth, by definition, is an increase in national income over a period of time. The national income statistics must, however, be displayed in real terms (i.e. with the factor of inflation taken out). National income usually rises each year but the rate of growth fluctuates over time.

  2. Considering the current situation of the Chinese household electrical appliance enterprises, has WTO created ...

    Many areas of China's economy stand to see change from WTO accession, from agriculture to insurance and banking to telecommunications. Among the sectors affected, the household appliance industry seems one of the most open to a global challenge. Consumer electronics products may be broadly classified into household electrical appliances (including

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