Conservative Government 1951-64 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Conservative Government 1951-64 Deck (28):

What was the post war consensus

This is an understanding that after the Second World War there was a great deal of agreement between labour and he conservatives on the major issues.


What are the elements that are normally identified as part of the post war consensus

- belief in a mixed economy: involvement by the state as well as private enterprise
-support for the nhs and welfare state
- a wish to ensure full employment and to avoid the mass unemployment of the 1930's
- working with both trade unions and employers


What promises did the Conservative party make in 1951 manifesto regarding housing, education a and social reforms

-Housing: in the 1951 manifesto the conservatives promised to build 300,000 houses a year in order to reconstruct all the damage caused from the war and replace many of the slums that people had been living in
-education: there where three types of secondary schools: gramma, technical schools and secondary modern school. 11+ test at the end of primary school would determine which school you would go to. Eden tried to promote a greater emphasis on technical schools but by the end of the 1960s people where trying to question if this system was fair.
-social reforms: the clean air act 1956- to prevent the smog of the early 1950's and the housing and factories aimed to improve living and working conditions. Butler as Home Secretary started to take action against homosexuality and the death penalty. 1957 the wolfenden commission recommended that homosexual activity was no longer a criminal act.


What internal problems was labour facing During the 1950's ( labour division)

Attlee continues as leader until 1955, but a lot of the labour leaders were ageing and often in poor health. There was split in the party in ideology and in personalities.
Key figures in the split bevan and gaitskell, the conservatives used this split to there advantage.


What was Nye Bevan

Minister of health in the Attlee government and was the architect of the nhs. Hero of the labour left. Bevan resigned in 1951 to protest against the introduction of prescription charges, he gained support of many labour MPs and trade unionist.


Who was Hugh gaitskell

Chancellor of the exchequer from 1950 to 1951 who introduced prescription charges. He was in the right of the Labour Party and became the leader in 1955 defeating Bevan in the election. He attempted to reform the Labour Party but it was unsuccessful


How did the CND ( campaign for nuclear disarmament effect the Labour Party

Bevan opposed the British developing nuclear weapons in 1957 he announced his opposition to nuclear weapons arguing that it would "send British foreign secretary naked into the conference chamber"
Many left wing labours joined the CND and the links between the CND and the labour left may have well turned some voters away from labour.


What is meant by nationalisation

State ownership of key industries, the demand for the state control 'the commanding heights of the economy' had been a central principle of the Labour Party from its beginning.


How did the Labour Party pick up after the split in their party

Their political position slowly improved in 1960. It appeared more united. Cultural shifts in the country made the public more critical of the conservative government by the beginning of the 1960's. Gaitskells death in 1963 opened the way for the labour to elect Harold Wilson as leader


Why could be reasons to support that labour was responsible for their own downfall in the 1951 election

- labour backtracked promised when they introduced prescription charges
- trade unions were critical of nationalisation so they lost support
- didn't go far enough to appease the working class. Trade unions believed they where out of touch with workers and trade unionist didn't encourage to vote for them
-entered the Korean War which made labour left wing unhappy- sheepishly following the USA into a Cold War engagement.
-conservative campaigned more rigorously as the election approached- they where better organised and more attractive.
- government was down by serious economic and financial difficulties
- labour inherited a massive debt from the war and
- labour voting system led to conservative dominance


Who was winston church hill

He had been cabinet minister in both liberal and conservative governments between 1906-1940 and led Britain to victory by 1945. After the war he continued to play a world state an even though the conservatives were in opposition. He was prime mister again 1951-1955


How did labour politicians see Churchill

Tired, old force and believed that the conservatives would struggle with the intense economic difficulties Britain faced


Who was Anthony Eden

Talented politician always thought as future prime minister. Winston churchills foreign secretary during the world war. Between 1951-55 he was the acting prime minister in churchills absence. He became prime minister in 1955 but resigned in 57 after the suez crisis due to ill health


Who was R.A Butler

Famous as "the best prime minister the conservatives never had". Played a key role in the reorganisation of the party and its policies for returning to power in 1951. He was chancellor from 1951-1955 and was seen as possible leader in 1957 after the fall of Eden and again in 1963 when Macmillan resigned


Who was Harold Macmillan

Mp for Stockton-on-tees and was church hills military liaison officer during the Second World War. He was housing minister in church hills government from 1951 and foreign secularly in edens government. In 1957 he emerged as a new conservative prime minister after edens resignation. Macmillans policies were shaped by World War Two by the Great Depression of the 1930's. Attlee said Macmillan nearly joined the Labour Party in 1930. Described as a one nation conservative


What is a chancellor of the exchequer

The government minister responsible for economic and financial policy's. Often the most powerful person in the government after the prime minister


Why was churchills government between the 1951-55 often left to Eden

Churchill thought of himself as an international statesman not a domestic politician. He spent more time abroad meeting world leaders of at his favourite holiday spot so in his absence Eden was left as acting prime mister.


Why where they tension between the conservatives under churchills government

Butler, Macmillan and Eden did not get along well. This lasted for the whole 13 years. Eden also became impatient with Churchill as he waited for him to step down


What was Edens weaknesses as prime minister

His previous experience had been in foreign policies so within 6 months of his leader ship the Conservative party Quietly spoke about his lack of experience and interest in domestic affairs. He was anxious about making decisions and was conscious on his lack of knowledge on the economic issues. He wanted to prevent industrial conflict.
His weakness of leader was when he tries to move Macmillan from the foreign office to the treasury in October 1955. Macmillan did not want to move an delayed it till December.


How did the suez crisis affect Eden as prime minister

Eden made the decision to take military action during the suez crisis. The suez crisis was a turning point for Britans Imperial power and made the county look week, it was also a political crisis. Eden came under heavy attack from the labour government in parliament. He was also accused of lying to the House of Commons and that badly damaged his reputation.
The suez crisis also caused problems within the party, Antony nutting resigned from the cabinet and there was a rebel by nearly 40 conservatives. Edward Heath who was responsible for keeping the party inline also opposed edens actions.


How was Macmillan seen as prime minister

He restored the unity in the party. For the full 5 years Macmillan seemed to be in full control of affairs. Nick named "super Mac" led the conservatives to super victory in the 1959 election. Pushing the parliament majority up 100 seats. Macmillan had the media in the palm of his hands using the new political opportunities provided by television with flair.


What is the night of the long knives
How did it weaken the government

July 1962 where Macmillan sacked one third of his cabinet.
Weak- Macmillan was made to look clumsy. He also appeared increasingly out of touch and out of date. The economic situation also continued to cause concern


What was the Profumo affair

A scandal combining sex, spying and high politics. Macmillan's secretary of states- John Profumo had an affair with Christine keeler whilst she was also sleeping with soviet spy which raised questions about possible leaks of Cold War secrets. Profumo was forced to resign in he lied about his actions. A public inquiry headed by a high court of justice kept the affair in the headlines for weeks.


What impact did the Profumo affair have on the Conservative party

It affected the image of Macmillan and the conservative government as old and out of touch. It made the conservatives look untrustworthy to the public due to the lies.


Why did Macmillan resign and what happened as a result

Macmillan resigned in autumn 1963 where a serious illness left him in hospital for weeks. Butler and hailsham were the most obvious to take over as leader however a candidate who was Lord home emerged as leader.


Who was sir Alex Douglas home

Served as foreign secularly under Macmillan and Edward Heath. When he was chosen to be leader in 1963 he gave up his seat in the House of Lords to sit in the House of Commons. He introduced elections for the conservative leadership.


What is the bevanite quarrel

Refers to the labour split in 1951 when be an resigned as minister of labour over the labour governments decision to introduce charges for perceptions


What was rejected in 1961

Britain's application to the EEC