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20 Century British History

Ruth Davidson
Child benefit was seen by some to encourage the sort of welfare dependency that the moralistic individualism of Thatcherism opposed. Yet, surprisingly, the benefit survived the Thatcher years. Its survival reveals the conundrum the Conservative party have had regarding benefits for the family and family policy more broadly. Neo-liberals were supportive of the family as a vehicle for reinforcing Conservative values. Yet, the late 1970s and 1980s were periods of social change where the traditional family of the Conservative imagination was breaking down and consequently 'family policy' became a key political theme...
November 9, 2018: 20 Century British History
Jacob Bloomfield
This article will examine how a series of theatrical shows which starred casts of cross-dressing ex-servicemen achieved critical and commercial popularity in interwar Britain despite increased cultural anxieties about the links between gender variance and transgressive acts, behaviours, and categories of identity. Prior to this study, historians have researched wartime concert parties where servicemen cross-dressed for each other's entertainment, but scant attention has been given to the popular phenomenon of ex-servicemen who performed cross-dressing revues for the general public...
October 31, 2018: 20 Century British History
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 5, 2018: 20 Century British History
Deborah Cohen
This lecture explores the shared terrain between the new international history and the history of emotions. In the summer and fall of 1942, American foreign correspondents played a key role in sparking a furore over British rule in India. Drawing on their own first-hand reporting from India, they depicted the British Empire as retrograde and abusive, a dangerous, destabilizing force and a threat to the post-war peace. Diagnosing what it called 'a new landslide of anti-British feeling', the British Ministry of Information spearheaded the formation of high-level, interdepartmental, secret committee charged with the task of figuring out how to reconcile Americans to the British Empire...
September 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
David Cowan
In 1948, worried that young people would take full employment and the welfare state for granted, the Labour Party trialled a new slogan: 'Ask your Dad'. This slogan encouraged the young to learn about the hardships which their parents had experienced in the inter-war years, largely under Conservative governments. Using archived interviews and letters sent to the press, this article provides the first study of the popular reception of this slogan. Most people had not heard of this slogan, and most of those who had heard of the phrase showed no knowledge that it was associated with politics, turning instead to popular culture...
September 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Linsey Robb
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
James Thompson
This article reconstructs the visual culture of politics in Edwardian London through a study of the 1907 London County Council election. It moves beyond the memorable account given in Graham Wallas's Human Nature in Politics to examine the actors, especially associations and newspapers, that participated in the election. Drawing upon newspapers, election addresses, cartoon, leaflets, and posters, the article argues that Edwardian London was a prime site in the application of new media for political communication...
September 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Sarah Mass
This article argues that the traditional retail market-a ubiquitous commercial feature of British towns and cities-produced a particular strand of heritage politics in late 1960s and early 1970s Britain. In recovering the activists involved in two campaigns to 'save the market' from redevelopment-one unsuccessful campaign in Bradford and one successful campaign in Chesterfield-I make the case for thinking through local urban heritage movements in comparative terms, focusing on how place-based citizenship collided with a nascent, national 'anti-development' mood in the early 1970s...
September 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Keith Gildart
This article explores esoteric identities and cultures in the British Parliamentary Labour Party c1929-51. The historiography of the Labour Party has tended to overemphasize the one-dimensional nature of ideological affiliation and identity amongst Labour Members of Parliament in this period along the lines of a rather simplistic left/right dichotomy. Moreover, some historians have suggested that after 1918 particular socialist traditions and currents had become marginalized or dissolved once the party had developed a clearly defined constitution and the experience of political power...
September 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Emma Barrett
This article shows how elite stockbrokers Cazenove and Co. responded to the 'Big Bang' deregulation of the financial sector in 1986, using social networks and inherited practices to navigate an ostensibly technical and modernizing revolution. The Thatcher administration's reform of the London Stock Exchange was an economic enterprise intended to end restrictive practices and open the City to competition. A more open meritocratic financial sector marked the 'death of gentlemanly capitalism' and coalesced with a political agenda for entrepreneurialism and popular capitalism...
August 10, 2018: 20 Century British History
Gregory Rawlings
The British Nationality Act (BNA) of 1948 was designed to provide a form of supranational citizenship to accommodate the separate nationality provisions that were beginning to proliferate as a result of constitutional change within the late empire, decolonization and the formation of the Commonwealth. Under the provisions of the BNA, members of the Commonwealth would continue to be unified by transnational forms of citizenship, at least in principle. The Act aimed to cover every political arrangement conceivable in the late empire and early Commonwealth and contributed to the transformation of Great Britain into a multicultural society, by providing the legal vehicle for immigration into the UK in the second half of the twentieth century...
July 31, 2018: 20 Century British History
Aaron Andrews
From 1968, the central government established a series of area-based initiatives that operated on the basis of 'positive discrimination' towards the social needs of local residents. Over the course of the next 10 years, this area-based positive discrimination became an increasingly important part of social policy in Britain. This article uses Glasgow as a case study to show, first, how both the local and the central government attempted to define the problem of 'multiple deprivation' in the 1970s. Second, it shows how social studies were used to locate multiply deprived communities within urban areas, thereby feeding into the identification of the 'inner city' as a policy problem...
July 3, 2018: 20 Century British History
Alistair Fair
This article augments the literature on the British experience of planning by examining attempts to plan the hospital system between 1962 and 1977. The Hospital Plan for England and Wales of 1962 proposed the construction of a suite of new 'District General Hospitals'. Underpinning this proposal was a belief in the value of standardized designs and construction methods, both of which were subsequently investigated in detail by the Ministry of Health and the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS). The history of this project reveals the challenges of putting centralized planning into practice...
June 23, 2018: 20 Century British History
Gillian Murray
The force and coherency with which Margaret Thatcher and her inner circle outlined their vision for 'enterprise culture', like so many aspects of Thatcherism, have masked the complexity of its origins and the histories of alternative responses. This article provides a history of an alternative vision for enterprise culture by examining the community business movement in Scotland, the largest experiment of its kind in the UK in the 1980s and a forerunner of social enterprise. Working across Scotland, but with a hub of activity in the Strathclyde region, practitioners worked with local people to find ways to develop their neighbourhood economy while improving their environment, creating jobs, and developing services needed in their area...
June 9, 2018: 20 Century British History
Lucy Robinson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Mark Reeves
This article examines the efforts of two anticolonial politicians from the British Empire who used official visits to London and the rhetoric of the Atlantic Charter (14 August 1941) to advance their political careers and self-government for their territories: Burma's U Saw in 1941, and Nigeria's Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1943. Rather than a repetition of the 'Wilsonian moment', these campaigns show how anticolonial forces long active across the Empire took advantage of the opening offered by the Atlantic Charter to make claims on the British government in its wartime weakness...
June 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Anna K Danziger Halperin
The Department of Education and Science, led by then Secretary of State Margaret Thatcher, published a White Paper in December 1972 calling for a dramatic expansion of public nursery education, so that it might be available within a decade to all families with 3- and 4-year-old children who chose to utilize it. While this failed policy is seldom remembered today, and Thatcher's efforts to promote the care and education of young children are not considered part of her considerable legacy, the White Paper's policy propositions challenge understandings about the formation and consistency of both Britain's child care policy and 'Thatcherism'...
June 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Alistair Kefford
This article examines debates about the design and provision of post-war housing within the papers and report of the Parker Morris committee. It does so to show how the models of citizens' rights and expectations which underpinned post-war welfare provision were transformed by mass affluence and the dynamic sphere of commercial consumption. Parker Morris's deliberations demonstrate that, as early as the 1950s, the citizen-subject was reimagined as a consuming individual, with requirements based on their expressive needs and consuming desires, and that this had far-reaching consequences for social democratic systems of universal welfare provision...
June 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Joel Morley
This article explores whether, how, and what young men in interwar Britain heard about the Great War from its veterans. Oral histories are used to enable the first detailed examination of the hitherto largely unexplored topic of the intergenerational transmission of representations of the Great War in interwar Britain. It shows that although many veterans were reticent about their war experiences, young men heard about Great War experiences from veterans more frequently than has previously been acknowledged...
June 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Eliza Riedi
The South African War of 1899-1902 cost the lives of 22,000 British and colonial soldiers and created almost 5,000 British war widows. It was in this context that the first state pensions for the widows of rank and file soldiers were introduced in 1901. Triggered by unexpectedly high casualty rates and widespread dissatisfaction with charitable provision, the introduction of state pensions also reflected changing public attitudes towards soldiers and their dependants in the context of an imperial war. Dismissed in the historiography as insignificant because of its low rates and restrictive eligibility clauses, the 1901 scheme in fact delivered pensions to the majority of war widows and made the Edwardian state their most important source of financial support...
June 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
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