Guide Planning London for the Post-War Era 1945-1960

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This empire had largely been granted independence by , beginning with independence for India and Pakistan in Fragments remained. A war was successfully fought with Argentina in when the latter attacked the Falkland Islands, a colony inhabited by British settlers since The most populous of Britain's remaining colonies, Hong Kong, was only handed over to China in As empire receded fast, Britain seemed a diminished power. Nonetheless, it became the third state in the world to gain the atom bomb in, followed by the hydrogen bomb in Defence in the post-war era largely consisted of the protection of Western Europe against the threat of Soviet invasion, and Britain played a key role in this confrontation which became known as the Cold War.

Britain became an active member of international organisations, not least the United Nations, of which it was a founder member and held a permanent seat on the Security Council. Closer to home, troops were deployed in Northern Ireland from in response to an outbreak of sectarian violence, which rapidly became a major terrorist challenge. In the s, a peaceful end to the 'Troubles' was negotiated, but tension continues. In contrast to the situation in Northern Ireland, Welsh and Scottish nationalism remained essentially non-violent, and in each gained a devolved assembly exercising a considerable amount of local control.

At times, Britain itself appeared to be going the same way, as entry into the European Economic Community EEC - later European Union EU - in led to a marked erosion of national sovereignty and to a transfer of powers to Europe.

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At the national level, government was controlled by the Labour Party - , - , - and onwards and its Conservative rival - , - , - , with no coalition ministries. These two parties shared major overlaps in policy throughout the post-war period, for example in maintaining free health care at the point of delivery - the basis of the National Health Service. But there were also major contrasts, particularly between and when Margaret Thatcher held power as the country's first female prime minister.

The Conservatives tended to favour individual liberties and low taxation, while Labour preferred collectivist solutions and were therefore happier to advocate a major role for the state.

Planning London for the Post-War Era 1945-1960

This was particularly evident in Labour 's support for the nationalisation of major parts of the economy during their pre governments. Most, in turn, were denationalised again under the Conservatives between and Uncertain public policy in the post-war period played a role in the marked relative decline of the British economy, which was particularly pronounced in the field of manufacturing.

This contributed to a sense of national malaise in the s, which also owed much to very high inflation and to a sense that the country had become ungovernable, as strikes by coal miners led to the failure of government policies on wages. Spending became a major expression of identity and indeed a significant activity in leisure time.

Manufacturing decline was matched by the rise in the service sector, resulting in a major change for many in the experience of work. This rise was linked to a growth in consumerism that also owed something to an extension of borrowing to more of the population. The move to hour shopping and the abolition of restrictions on Sunday trading were symptomatic of this shift.

Shopping patterns also reflected social trends in other respects with, for example, a major change in the diet, as red meat declined in relative importance, while lighter meats, fish and vegetarianism all enjoyed greater popularity. So too did products and dishes from around the world, reflecting the extent to which the British had become less parochial and readier to adopt an open attitude to non-British influences.

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Increased foreign travel and intermarriage were other aspects of a relatively un-xenophobic and continually-changing society - trends that continue to this day. He works on post military history, 18th-century British history, international relations, cartographic history and newspaper history. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled.

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Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so. By the Depression it enjoyed remarkable growth. Yet, total membership in the Communist Party likely never exceeded 6, Anti-left rhetoric, on the other hand, could trace its roots to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when labor upheavals -- a frequent occurrence in Pennsylvania's industrial environment -- were often blamed on radical forces.

Such rhetoric increased during the anti-Bolshevik panic of and, later, during the Depression.

A more formalized anti-Communist crusade emerged in the post-World War II era against a backdrop of heightened national concerns over red infiltration of organized labor, government, and other sectors of American society. Jenkins examines Communist influences and reactions in several arenas. These include the labor movement, teaching and academic professions, ethnic communities, religious groups and organizations, and state politics. It is clear from his discussion, which relies heavily on relevant primary and secondary sources, that Pennsylvania experienced its share of the post-World War II Red Scare.

And, the story made sensational headlines. Though the anti-Communist crusade in Pennsylvania can be understood within the national context of anxiety and fear, the consequences, Jenkins concludes, were not far reaching or long lasting.

Pennsylvania historiography barely mentions accounts of the period. Yet, the crusade did successfully weaken the Communist party, discredited those who were associated with it, and, though unfortunate as it may seem, ruined many careers, reputations, and livelihoods.

Planning London For The Post-war Era 1945-1960 Hardcover 2015 Ed.

Among the greatest strengths of this book are its readability and its critically important contributions to the broader history of the Cold War. Moreover, the book makes an important contribution to growing historical scholarship on Pennsylvania and American ethnic, labor, social, and political history. Another strength is its use of important primary sources including records from the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of communist activities in Philadelphia, papers of the Pennsylvania Department of the American Legion, and presidential papers from the Harry S.

Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.

Finally, the organization of the book is to its credit. Topical chapters, such as Saving Labor and The Struggle for Ethnic Communities neatly organize the story and provide an excellent backdrop for the finale which analyzes the broader impact of the Communist and anti-Communist movements in Pennsylvania. The book could be strengthened in a few ways, though. First, it should have been rooted in a broader historiography of the Cold War. While its intentions are clear in focusing exclusively on Pennsylvania, the reader does not really come away with any intellectual understanding of Cold War literature and where this work fits into such historiography.

Second, the author could have included a few photo images that would bring some of the central actors to life.