“Labour Part Divisions and Inability to Present a Viable Alternative to Conservative Rule, Accounts for the Political Dominance of the Conservative Party Between 1951 and 1964” Asses the Validity of This View Essay

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After the general election in 1951, many Labour politicians felt they would soon return to power however little did they know it was the start of a period of Conservative dominance ranging from 1951-1964. Many left wing historians such as Marr assert that the internal divisions in Labour over issues such as the membership of the EEC, entry into The Cold War and many other matters along with their inability to present a viable alternative was the main factor that led to a 13 year Tory dominance. However, other historians such as Collins argue that it was rebuilding of the party after 1945 by Lord Woolton and R.A Butler along with an influx in youthful and passionate MPs which strengthened the Conservatives so greatly allowing their period of dominance rather than mere infighting in the opposition party. Alternatively, it should not be forgotten that some historians also hold the view that much of the ‘successes’ of the Conservative rule were as a result of the ‘Age of affluence’ rather than work of the government. To fully assess the validity in the claim that labour weakness caused such dominance of the conservatives, we must first asses all the reasons why the Tories had dominated for so long. Undoubtedly, divisions in the Labour party most definitely did play an important role in conservative dominance as it presented the party (Labour) as unstable while alternatively the Conservatives were seen as bold as a result of such issues. One of the early issues that concerned the Labour party was their direction of foreign policy- whether to follow their leftist partners Russia or to side with their loan funding cross Atlantic neighbours, the USA. Lynch mentions how there was heated debate over entry into the Korean War between the Parties’s extreme left and centre right. Lynch goes on to write how eventually the issue of funding of Britain’s involvement in the Korean

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