Post War Consensus Essay

Post War Consensus Essay-45
Kavanagh and Morris point out that following the labour victory in 1945 Attlee laid out his main foreign policy aims which included "retreat from the Empire...[to pursue...Britain's role as a nuclear power and membership of the Atlantic alliance]", 11which they argue were policies that were accepted and pursued by conceding conservative governments as well. Conclusion They argue that there were differences between the parties but these were only "differences of ruhetoric... This links closely to Butler who stated that both parties spoke the language of Keynesianism, but they "spoke it with different accents and differing emphasis." This shows that a consensus existed at an elite level where it was most effective and apparent.In 1950 the Labour party were pursuing a policy of nationalisation of key industries within the British economy, for example the coal, electric and steel sectors.

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Despite the fact that at some points both parties disagreed on certain issues but in the long term it would become a strong basis for the British political agenda for almost a very long forty years.

In 1945, the Labour party claimed victory in the general elections to lead the British government. Middle Many critics have often argued that Atlee was not overly Socialist at first but was under great influence of the great economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946).

In 1945 Clement Attlee was elected Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The argument that post-war consensus was a myth is supported by the differences between their policies, as seen in the 1950's election manifestos.

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.

Although there were differences between the supporters of the political parties on ideological grounds these differences played a very insignificant role in fermenting the parties' direction as essentially a political consensus existed as both governments worked together in order to make Great Britain great again.

The post-war consensus is a historian's model of political co-operation in post-war British political history, from the end of World War II in 1945 to the late-1970s, and its repudiation by Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher. The consensus tolerated or encouraged nationalisation, strong trade unions, heavy regulation, high taxes, and a generous welfare state.

However, had it not happened then the establishment of the National Health Service would not have been done, nationalisations of companies would not have occurred.

Living standards would not have increased either, the general public were living with much ease compared to those years when the depression was at its worst and it was in 1951 that Prime minister Macmillan made his famous speech of 'most of our people had ever had it so good.' Political writers like Peter Hennessy have often argued that 'consensus' is too strong a word to use during that particular era and what it implied was 'social harmony and an absence of conflict' between the major parties and was more in favour of using 'post war settlement' as a result of deferring political views.

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