25 terms

Britain - Society in transition

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Why did the upper class delcine after WWI?
WWI contributed to the deaths of 19% of all peers and their sons, and 21% of all Old Etonians.
Huge increase in income tax and death duties. Estates over £2 mill were subject to 40% duty and tax on incomes over £2,500 rose from 2% to 57% in 1925. Duties kept increasing to 1949.
Gentry forced to sell off 1/4 of all of their land between 1918-1920. 1/3 of the 4,000 gentry listed in Burke's landed Gentry were landless by 1937. Half by 1951.
Lost political power, due to popularity of Labour and the increase of middle/working class in Commons.
Despite this, why were the rich still respected?
(ignoring satire boom in 1960s)
Opened their homes to people - 1937 Country Houses Act - could live rent free in their stately home for two generations - as long as it was donated to the National Trust and open to the public for at least 60 days a year. (Also avoided death duties)
Country house live remains the goal for many rich Britons.
TV shows such as Upstairs Downstairs (1971)
What was the middle class like during this period?
Neither the ruling class not the manual workers.
Lower-middle tried hard to differentiate from the working class (mainly in terms of leisure pursuits, jobs, and culture).
Saw themselves as the upright, moral people who set the standards of the community, looked down at the poor.
Blamed unions for wartime inflation. Even though the wartime economy had more to do with this. (Something worth £100 in 1914 became £240 in 1920).
Above could explain enthusiasm in breaking the 1928 General Strike.
Despite this, commercial/financial jobs grew by 34% in 1911-1921. Jobs in management grew from 700,000 I'm 1931 to 1.25 million in 1951. Growing middle class expansion.
Led to domestication of leisure time.
How had the working class changes during this period?
Highly varied: construction/engineering at top, unskilled labour in middle, and criminal underclass.
Full employment during both wars helped 'residuum' into respectable working class.
Unions grew by 90% during WWI.
Those able to gain higher wages and less working hours took part in more leisure.
Trade unions fell by 22% in 1920-22 recession. Failed to recover after General Strike.
Areas of industry growth (e.g. cars) tended to be non-unionised.
Half voted Tory between wars.
Welfare reforms in pre-1914 Liberal government, built during interwar, reduced social stigma of getting benifits.
What shows the 1951-79 as the emergence of the permissive society?
Alfred Kinsey's 1953 'sexual behaviour of the human female' undermined moral condemnation of sex before marriage.
1959 Obscene Publications Act - 'serious works of art' could use 'obsene' words or images (extended to film by 1977).
Censorship further relaxed in 1968 Theatres Act.
Soft porn Emmanuelle was forth most popular film of 1974.
1972 The Joy of Sex - bestseller with explicit, fully illustrated images.
What shows that the 'sexual revolution' of the 1960s was exaggerated?
(studies: Sexual Behaviours of Young People (1965) and Sex and Marriage in England Today (1971)).
Only 18% of girls and 10% of boys had sex with more then 3 people.
17% of girls and 33% of boys had sex at 19.
The average marriage age for women fell bellow 23 in 1970, down from 25 in 1946.
Though, what conclusion could be made about the youth during 1960-70s?
Way more tolerant of sex before marriage then their parents generation. (By 1990: less then 1% of first-time sexual intercause happened within marriage).
When had pressure for more liberal laws started?
1890 for homosexually, 1910s for divorce law, 1920s for birth control, and abortion for 1930.
Why was the 1967 Abortion Act by David Steel supported?
Argued with the fact that 40 deaths and 100,000 injuries were caused by 'back-street' abortions in 1966.
(The act allowed abortions to happen during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy through the NHS)
Why was there popular fear and hatred towards homosexual men during the 1950s?
Thought of as predatory.
Homosexuality poorly understood and taboo to talk about until 1970.
Views not helped by the defection of spies Guy Burgess (gay) and Donald MacLean (bi). To Russia in 1950.
What was odd about laws against homosexuality in the UK until 1967?
Lesbian relations have never been illigal in the UK.
What caused the 1957 Wolfenden Committee?
A high profile trial of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and journalist Peter Wildeblood in 1954.
Montagu was sentenced to 1 year prison and Wildeblood sent 18 months. Even the conservative newspapers considered this to be harsh.
Created a growing perception that the state should not regulate what consenting adults can do in their own homes.
What was the 1967 Sexual Offences Act?
Legal for gay sex to happen between over 21s at home. Despite this, it was still illigal to 'solicit' gay sex (the number of men arrested for 'public indecency' trebled between 1967 and 1972).
Who were critics of the new permissive society?
Margaret Thatcher (despite voting for the Abortion Act and the Sexual Offences Act).
Mary Whitehouse
What shows that Mary Whitehouse has some form of following?
Got 500,000 signatures for her Clean-Up TV petition in 1964.
Constant government letters may have help pass the 1981 law to force sex shops to black out windows.
Name other liberal act passed in this period.
Obsece Publications Act - 1959 - allowed obsece images and words in 'serious works of art' (i.e not film)
Suicide Act - 1961 -
Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act - 1965
Family Planning Act - 1967 -
Theatres Act - 1968 -
Divorce Reform Act - 1969 -
What would the timeline for changes in women's lives between 1918-79?
1918 - RoPA - women over 30 could vote
1919 - Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act - right to be jurors, magistrates, barristers, and high-ranking civil servants. And could graduate from Oxford or Cambridge.
1921 Marie Stopes - Planning clinics
1922 Married Women's Maintenance Act. Women given 40 shillings + 10 for each child.
1923 Bastardy Act - increases maintenance payments to single mothers, women can divorce husbands due to adultery.
1925 Guardian of Infants Act - mothers given same custody as fathers.
1928 Universal sufferage for men & women over 21
1937 Matrimonial Causes Act - women can divorce husbands due to desertion or insanity
1945 Family Allowence Act - grants for children
1961 contraceptive pill on sale
1967 Abortion Act
1970 Equal Pay Act - prohibits different pay or conditions due to gender.
How many female MPs were there from 1945-55? How many by 1974?
1945-55: 23 out of 635
1974: 23 out of 635
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