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20 Century British History

Aled Davies
The growth of occupational pensions in the post-war era transformed the pattern of capital ownership in Britain, as workers' collective retirement savings purchased a substantial share of the national economy. This article examines the response of the Labour and Conservative parties to this significant material change, and considers how it shaped their respective politics of ownership at the end of the post-war settlement. It demonstrates that Labour and the trade union movement recognized occupational pension funds as a new form of social ownership but had to reconcile their desire to give pension scheme-members direct control over their investments with a broader belief that the funds needed be used for a state-coordinated revitalization of the industrial economy...
April 23, 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...
April 17, 2018: 20 Century British History
Peter Gurney
This article contributes to a better understanding of labour anti-communism in Britain through an exploration of the evolution of ideas and attitudes within the co-operative movement during the early Cold War. It demonstrates that the period witnessed an increasingly rigid separation of co-operation from communism and argues that this separation made it harder for activists within the co-operative movement to imagine a total or utopian alternative to capitalism. Drawing particularly on a close reading of the co-operative press as well as other sources, the study is divided into three main parts...
April 2, 2018: 20 Century British History
Linsey Robb
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 23, 2018: 20 Century British History
Frank Mort
The stage managers of ritual and the media transformed the British monarchy in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century, consolidating its image as splendid and popular and also as more accessible and quasi-democratic. Historians have emphasized that these processes of modernization largely began in Britain. This article locates the origins of democratized royal ritual in the white dominions, especially after 1918. Canada, Australia and New Zealand were political and cultural laboratories where royal advisors and British and dominion politicians launched experiments in the practice of progressive empire and innovatory styles of informal ceremonial, which had a long-term impact on imperial and later Commonwealth relations...
March 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Laura Levine Frader
Despite having been overlooked in the standard histories of the UK and the European Community, gender politics and gender policies played a significant role in Britain's applications for membership in the EEC in the 1960s. Joining the European Community required that Britain comply with Article 119 on equal pay for equal work. A combination of domestic feminist and labour movement activism, the commitment of unions and parties, and the internationalization of formal commitments to women's rights constituted internal and external pressures for the passage of an Equal Pay Act in 1970...
March 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Sam Wetherell
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Simon Mackley
This article examines the imperial rhetoric of the Liberal Party during the South African War of 1899-1902, charting its use and development across five key controversies spanning the course of the conflict. Moving beyond traditional interpretations of the Liberal split as the product of competing visions of Empire and approaches to imperialism, this article argues for the need to recognize also the continuities within the imperial rhetoric of fin-de-siècle British Liberalism. Building on recent studies of political languages, it identifies how Liberal speakers from across the party operated within a rhetorical framework that emphasized three ideals of imperial governance: good government, self-government, and pluralism...
March 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Phil Child
This article examines the politics of private renting in 1950s and early 1960s Britain, through the radical approach taken by Labour Party towards private landlords. Through setting the radical aims of Labour in a mid-twentieth-century context of decrepit housing, rising rents and sluggish public housing programmes, Labour's rationale in arguing for the 'abolition' of the private landlord is more transparent. This article takes a chronological approach, investigating what actions Labour actors took, at local and national level, and what effect this had on the wider housing market...
March 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Simon Peplow
When violence erupted on the streets of England in 1981, it undoubtedly shocked the country in its scope and severity. However, such disorder had been foreshadowed when the St Pauls area of Bristol saw anti-police disturbances on 2 April 1980. This article focusses on the responses to this, from the local community and organizations as well as local and national government, which in the historiography has often been relegated to passing mentions prior to detailed discussion of the 1981 events. Utilizing recently released and understudied local records, it argues that appeals for a public inquiry from sections of the local community demonstrates the value awarded to them by this politically marginalized group, and the failings of other democratic forms of registering complaints...
March 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Helen Smith
This article will explore region as a category of analysis for understanding gender, sexual cultures, and the expression of same-sex desire. In unpicking the notion of regional difference in both its tangible and intangible forms, it outlines the corresponding impact on how sexual cultures developed and were experienced in twentieth-century Britain. By recognizing that the area in which an individual lived could have as much impact on their sense of self and their sexual experiences as issues of race, gender, and class, a new and fruitful avenue of interpretation is opened up for the history of sexuality and twentieth-century British history more broadly...
March 1, 2018: 20 Century British History
Andrew Seaton
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 20, 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...
December 15, 2017: 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...
December 13, 2017: 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...
December 8, 2017: 20 Century British History
Allegra Fryxell
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 1, 2017: 20 Century British History
Ben Roberts
The coronation of Edward VII and events to mark the end of the South African War led to a series of public ceremonies and events in the United Kingdom that had a profound effect on attitudes linked to national occasions and public holidays. This article explores the circumstances surrounding the numerous local and national holidays of 1902. It considers the decision-making process linked to the declaration of a coronation double-bank holiday, which demonstrated the inadequacy of contemporary legislation. The public response to the postponement of the coronation, due to the king's contraction of appendicitis, led to a period of 'event fatigue' in response to further ceremonial events...
December 1, 2017: 20 Century British History
Laura Carter
Research on folk culture in twentieth-century Britain has focused on elite and transgressive political episodes, but these were not its mainstream manifestations. This article re-evaluates the place of folk culture in twentieth-century Britain in the context of museums. It argues that in the modern heritage landscape folk culture was in an active dialogue with the modern democracy. This story begins with the vexed, and ultimately failed, campaign for a national English folk museum and is traced through the concurrent successes of local, regional, and Celtic 'first wave' folk museums across Britain from the 1920s to the 1960s...
December 1, 2017: 20 Century British History
Diarmaid Kelliher
The 1984-5 British miners' strike can be understood as a defence of place as well as jobs. Such a conception encourages us to foreground the local in accounts of the strike. However, I argue in this article that the local should not be understood in an excessively bounded way. By paying attention to relationships developed between London and the coalfields during the dispute, we can see how direct personal networks of solidarity were constructed between these very different places. This article discusses the spaces in which solidarity activity for miners in London took place...
December 1, 2017: 20 Century British History
Rebecca Jennings
In January 1978, the London Evening News informed its readers of its shocking discovery that British lesbians were conceiving babies by artificial insemination by donor (AID). Assisted by a respected London gynaecologist, Dr David Sopher, the women were planning and raising children in the context of lesbian relationships, challenging conventional family models and the widespread presumption that lesbianism and motherhood were mutually exclusive identities. The debate which was sparked by the Evening News expose and taken up in Parliament, the national and local media and on the streets in the subsequent weeks, offers an insight into attitudes towards lesbian motherhood in the late 1970s...
December 1, 2017: 20 Century British History
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