Labour Government Successes

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How successfully did the Labour government deal with the social problems facing Britain at the end of the Second World War? In 1945 when Clement Attlee brought the Labour Government into power, a welfare state was established that looked after its citizens “from the cradle to the grave.” It was seen as a “safety net” for citizens that would prevent people from falling into poverty. However, government funded benefits were not for everyone and throughout the country there were varying amounts of support given. Only the poorest were likely to receive help from the state. It is believed that the Second World War was actually the cause of many social reforms that were later formed, and the constituting of a welfare state. It was also due to the war that Labour was voted into power with a landslide victory, as the population believed that ‘post-war had to be better than pre-war,’ which caused people to vote for Labour in hope that they would deliver the peaceful revolution that they envisioned. However, some historians believe that the reason that Labour was so successful during their time in power is due to the achievements of the Liberals from 1906-1914. After the El Alamein battle in 1942, many people believed that Britain had a chance at winning the war and the government started to plan for a post-war social reconstruction. The most important plan made was the Beveridge Report in 1942. This report highlighted the main causes of poverty in Britain as, WANT (poverty), DISEASE (bad health), SQUALOR (bad housing), IGNORANCE (poor education), and IDLENESS (unemployment). These causes were called ‘the Five Giants.’ In 1951, Labour was criticized for not keeping its promises, and many of their previous voters turned conservative. This caused Labour to lose the 1951 election, as they had focused more on peace throughout the country after the war, than building
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