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Flashcards in Liberal Reforming Legalisations Deck (16):

Who was the labour Home Secretary in Wilson's government

Roy Jenkins.


What development had occurred since the 1950s

Greater affluence, youth culture, spread of technology, abolition of capital punishment, the abortion act and the sexual offences act and divorce reform.


How did private membership bills affect the Labour government

The 1960s saw backbench MP is bring forward a number of reforms through private membership bills. These were successful because Jenkins was sympathetic and saw enabled enough Parliamentary time to be available for the reforms to be passed.


How did the Labour government see the end of capital punishment

That anti-hanging campaign had received a particular boost from the case of Ruth Ellis. In 1957 the Tories had reduced the number of offences carrying the death-penalty but The Labour backbencher Sydney Silverman continue to campaign to win support for total abolition. In 1965 on a free vote hanging was abolished for a trial period of five years and in 1969 this was made permanent.


Talk about divorce reforms

What did this cause

Until the 1960s divorce law demanded evidence that one party had committed adultery. To gain this the Rich used private detectives in cameras but for others a divorce was often impossible. Jenkins believed that the laws were out of date and the divorce act was passed in 1969. This allowed for no fault divorce allowing the event of a breakdown of the marriage. Couples could divorce if they had lived apart for two years and both parents agreed to divorce, they had lived apart for five years and one partner wanted the divorce. However not all MPs were in favour.

A huge increase in the number of divorces. In 1950 they had been fewer than 2% divorce as per Thousand married couples in England and Wales, but by the mid 1970s nearly 10 in every thousand marriages ended this way.


Why did abortion need legalising

Until 1967 abortion was illegal. The only way of terminating a pregnancy was to find a private clinic if you could not afford backstreet abortions were the only option. Between 100,000 and 200,000 illegal abortions were performed each year and around 35,000 women were admitted to hospital with complications as a result.
Between 1958 and 1960, 82 women died after backstreet abortions


Who opposed abortion

In 1966 the Society for the protection of the unborn child was set up to oppose any liberalisations of the law, feeling that any extension of abortion be on strict medical grounds would lead to abortion on demand.


What encourage the public to want to legalise abortion

The thalidomide disaster
- the drug thalidomide which was prescribed for a pregnant women with morning sickness was found to produce congenital deformities in children when taken in early pregnancy. Children were commonly born without the long bones of the arms or the legs. In reaction to this, opinion polls showed a majority in favour of abortion when an apple monitor had been detected in the foetus.


What did the abortion act permit

The legal termination of a pregnancy within the first 28 weeks under medical supervision and with the written consent of two doctors. The only justification needed was the mental suffering of the pregnant woman not just her physical condition. The number of abortions increased from 4 per 100 in 1968 to 17.6 in 1975.


How were gays treated up till the 1960s

Men could be imprisoned for two years for participating in homosexual acts. The Conservative government had rejected the Wolfenden recommendation to decriminalise home sexuality and the Labour government of 1964 was divided on the issue


What was the 1967 sexual offences act

Although this did not legalised homosexuality it decriminalise them if three conditions were met; both parents had to consent, both have to be over the age of 21, it had to be in Private


Why did the education system appear socially devised till the 1960's

The secondary modern pupils were seen as 11+ failures and the whole system was socially devised, with the majority of grammar school places going to those from a middle-class background


What were comprehensive school

The local education authority is had established comprehensive schools. In the schools every child would have the same opportunities to learn at their own pace and sit exams according to that own ability in each subject. By 1964 one in 10 pupils will been educated in a comprehensive. In 1965 Tony Crossland became Minister of education which accelerated this process. By 1970 there was 1145 comprehensive schools catering for one in three of all state educated secondary school pupils.


Why may be argued that the idea of a truly comprehensive system was flawed from the start

Although Wilson justified comprehensive schools by referring to them as a grammar school education for all many middle-class parents remained unconvinced. This led them to turn to direct grants schools and independent schools which meant that the true comprehensive system is flawed from the start.


Why did the Labour government feel that they needed to expand higher education

What did the Labour government do as a result of

The establishment of the Robins committee in 1961 reported that Britain left behind France, Germany and the United States in the provision of university places and too many students are followed at related courses rather than science and technology

- polytechnics replaced colleges of technology. The focus was on science
-New universities where to be founded

By 1968 there was 30 polytechnics and 56 universities this opened up higher education for many whose families have never attended a university although middle-class children still dominated the old universities.


What was the open University

Created by Harold Wilson. It combines his enthusiasm for equal opportunities in education, modernisation and the white heat of technology by attempting to offer high-quality degree level learning in arts and science is to people who had never had the opportunity to attend campus universities.
The university is used radio and television in innovation forms of distance learning and recruited largely part-time student with a totally different social profile from traditional students. It attracted the mature, women and the disadvantaged, and it helped with the esteem of those who had previously regarded themselves as educational failures. By 1980 the open University had 70,000 students. And was awarding more agrees then Oxford and Cambridge combined.