Post War Consensus Essay

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The coalition government during the war, headed by Churchill and Attlee, signed off on a series of white papers that promised Britain a much improved welfare state after the war.

The promises included the national health service, and expansion of education, housing, and a number of welfare programmes.

The successes of the consensus meant that both parties' ideas were almost identical but then again still there were differences.

As much as Atlee did for the British government during the consensus years Hugh Gaitskell replaced him in 1955 who would now run the labour party.

The term was used to describe the 'social-democratic' supremacy that was happening in Britain between the years of 1945 until the late 1970's.

Over the years it was seen as a time for great political unity and prosperity following the tragic events of World War Two and also a time for both parties to contribute themselves into combining policies which would be similar in ideology in both the social and economic fields respectively.

The concept states that there was a widespread consensus that covered support for coherent package of policies that were developed in the 1930s and promised during the Second World War, focused on a mixed economy, Keynesianism, and a broad welfare state.

The basic argument is that in the 1930s Liberal intellectuals led by John Maynard Keynes and William Beveridge developed a series of plans that became especially attractive as the wartime government promised a much better post-war Britain and saw the need to engage every sector of society.

It included the nationalisation of weak industries.

In education, the major legislation was the Education Act of 1944, written by Conservative Rab Butler, a moderate, with his deputy, Labour's James Chuter Ede, a former teacher who would become Home Secretary throughout the Attlee administration.


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