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How effective were the social reforms of the Labour Government of 1945-1951 in dealing with the problems facing Britain at the time?

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  • Essay length: 2020 words
  • Submitted: 06/06/2005
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GCSE Politics

The first 200 words of this essay...

How effective were the social reforms of the Labour Government of 1945-1951 in dealing with the problems facing Britain at the time?

The Beveridge Report was published in 1942. Written by the Liberal Sir William Beveridge, it had identified what he called the "five giants" - the five gravest problems of British society. They were idleness (unemployment), want (poverty), disease, squalor and ignorance. Beveridge argued for a comprehensive social insurance scheme, universal access to healthcare and new attempts to avoid the mass unemployment of the 30's. The report was wildly popular amongst the public, who bought 625,000 copies of this rather dry, academic policy document. It seemed that during the worst, least hopeful times of the war, the British public needed something to fight for - and the creation of a full Welfare state was it.

In May 1945, the coalition government that had steered Britain through the perilous days of the Second World War was finished. The Liberals and the Labour Party had withdrawn, deciding that it was time to let the British population choose their government again. A General Election was called for July. Before the campaign had started, or a manifesto had been published,

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