New Labour v.s. Old Labour

New Labour was forced by political circumstances to adopt neo-liberalism and the Conservative European, Foreign and Defence policies, and so abandoned traditional Labour party ideology. Discuss.

New Labour began government with a promise not to increase spending above Conservative plans for the first two years of their government along with no increases in basic or high income tax. The government was strongly pro-Europe and wanted Britain to play an active role in the policy making decisions of the EU along with a future promise to join the monetary union. Foreign policy took on an ethical role with the government promoting human rights and intervening to stop abuses. [...]

Demography and the Industrial Revolution

What were the causes of the distinctive characteristics of English fertility behaviour during the Industrial Revolution? (b) How did the fertility rate interact with economic growth during this period?

demographyBefore the causes of fertility behaviour are explored, we need to first look at what these characteristics were in the first place. From the graph to the left1 we can see that the crude birth rate (which is defined as the number of live births per 1000 people) starts off at about 30 births per 1000 people in 1680 but increases to about 44 births per 1000 by 1820. This is a significant increase, especially as Malthus believed that the maximum biological rate of fertility can only be about 50 per 1000 people – so the fertility rate was approaching the maximum in 1820. [...]

Thatcher and Conservatism

Margaret Thatcher broke the post-war consensus in British politics and in so doing changed Conservatism in a fundamental way. Discuss.

It is generally agreed that the post-war consensus consisted of 3 broad pillars – the welfare state, a mixed economy and Keynesian demand-management to ensure full-employment. Let us firstly turn to Keynesian demand management; the post-war consensus was established when the dominant economic paradigm was Keynesian thought, it was believed that by altering government spending aggregate demand would change so as to ensure that full-employment was achieved. Traditionally, the government had the trade-off between high inflation and low unemployment or vice versa, this occurred because by reducing unemployment labour had strong bargaining power and was able to bid-up wages which caused inflation. [...]

Politics in Post-War Britain

Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee established a coherent political order in post-war British politics. Discuss.
The 3 main pillars of the post-war order were; a welfare state, a mixed economy and maintaining full employment. These three policies were introduced by Attlee’s Labour government between 1945 and 1950. They came about through a change in ideology in the electorate during the war. Although sometimes referred to as Butskellism because they were largely enacted by Hugh Gaitskell, Chancellor under Attlee and subsequently Rab Butler, Chancellor under Churchill, they only came to pass with the support and direction of Attlee and Churchill, reflecting their combined commitment to them. [...]