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In the 1930's and 1940's Britain was in very bad shape.

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Introduction

In the 1930's and 1940's Britain was in very bad shape, both the post war Labour government and the National government of the 1930's faced similar problems both dealing with social and economic crisis. But the situations were different. The National government during an economic crisis triggered off by the 1929 Wall Street Crash, and the worldwide economic depression that followed; the 1945 government after a terrible war, in which more civilians than ever before had been killed, and the economy of many countries in Europe had been devastated. There had been a major downturn in the British economy since the end of the first word war. The government had not fulfilled promises of a better society with employment security and higher standards of living. There was too much reliance on the traditional heavy industries of cotton, coal mining, and ship building, which were struggling to compete in world markets because they did not have the means to adopt modern techniques. Many countries, which had relied on British goods, were now making their own. To escalate the problems in1929 a worldwide depression triggered by the Wall Street crash occurred. The Wall Street crash resulted in financial loans to foreign countries being recalled by America, which caused rising of world tariffs and a massive loss of demand for British exports. ...read more.

Middle

The number of private cars doubled, annual holidays to the seaside were common and sales of electrical appliances such as radios, electric cookers and vacuum cleaners were increasing rapidly. The north west and south east were like 2 different worlds. The final recovery of Britain came with the threat of Hitler prompting Britain to begin rearmament. The older industrial areas were rejuvenated by the need for battle ships, coal and many more essential resources needed for rearmament. The second world war was a huge drain on the british economy. War is very expensive and the british government (a coilition led by Churchill) spent millions in resources and money. Bomb damage had been extensive and would be a huge cost to repair. The rebuild of Britain would be a mammoth undertaking. The whole of Britain was organised to win the war, making a huge impact on every ones lives. The war had brought british people together, there was a huge sense of community spirit, because everyone was working toward the same goal; victory. Victory eventually came in1945. Now with the soldiers all returning home, the pressure on the next government to build a new Britain free of poverty and hard ship was great. Following the many sacrifices made by british people they wanted a government committed to building a better future. ...read more.

Conclusion

The new towns act was passed in order to set up new towns which were healthy, clean and pleasant. By 1951 14 new town corporations had been set up. The town and country planning act was passed in 1946 making county councils responsible for planning. This gave them for example the power to approve or disapprove planning permission. The labour government's greatest achievement was the setting up of the welfare state as they had promised. But this not all the government did. The labour party believe in socialist ideas. This meant that they believed in a high level of government interference in the economy, unlike the conservatives. After the war because of the massive government expenditure Britain had incurred massive debts. As a result the need to mordernise industry in Britainwas far greater in order to be able to compete in world markets. The government as attempted to solve these problems with a planned economy. A major part of this was nationalisation. This meant that the most important industries would be owned and run by the state in the publics best interest. Between 1945 and 1951 labour nationalised the bank of England, air transport, cable and wireless, the coal mines, the railways, docks, canals, road haulage, electricity and gas. So Labour also carried out its promises on nationalisation. They maintained full employment and led Britain to recovery after the war. Unlike before the war the governments actions after the war were the main reasons behind the recovery of Britain. ...read more.

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