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Britain c.1930–1997 and Enquiry Topic: Churchill 1930–1951

This option allows students to study the political, social and economic developments that have shaped modern Britain. It places emphasis on cultural change, looking at issues of class, race, gender and youth. It examines both domestic and foreign affairs. 

Churchill’s View of Events 1929–1940

Why Churchill was out of office 1929–1939; his attitude to the Abdication Crisis; his views about Empire and India and clashes with his party; attitude towards Germany after 1933; his views about rearmament and appeasement; why Churchill became Prime Minister.

Churchill as Wartime Prime Minister

Why Churchill became Prime Minister; stance in 1940 and style of leadership; relations with his generals and his impact on strategic decisions in the Mediterranean, bombing of Germany and the war in Europe 1944–1945; plans for reconstruction and loss of 1945 election.

Churchill and International Diplomacy 1939–1951

Churchill’s view on Britain’s world and imperial role; relations with other wartime leaders (Roosevelt, Stalin and de Gaulle); contribution to international conferences; plans for post-war Europe; Iron Curtain speech; attitude to Empire and Europe after 1945.

Conservative Domination 1951–1964

Reasons for the Conservative victory 1951; social changes, immigration, unrest, social mobility and tensions, education; living standards, housing, prosperity and unemployment; Conservative economic policies, Butskellism, industrial growth and stagflation; Conservative leadership of Churchill, Eden, Macmillan and Home; scandals including the Vassall affair, Philby, Argyll and Profumo; reasons for Conservative decline; Labour leadership, divisions and electoral failures of the Labour Party.

Labour and Conservative Governments 1964–1979

Labour victory 1964, Wilson as leader 1964–1970; economic problems and policies; relations with the Trade Unions; Labour Party divisions; 1970 election, Heath as party leader and Prime Minister; aims and policies of Heath’s Government; industrial relations, miners’ strike; Wilson and Callaghan 1974–1979, problems and policies 1974–1979.

Thatcher and the end of Consensus 1979–1997

Election victories; Thatcher and her ministers; reasons for support and opposition; economic policies including monetarism, free-market, supply-side economics and privatisation; social policies and unrest; unemployment and the Trade Unions; the Miners’ strike; fall of Thatcher and replacement with Major; Conservative divisions under Major and electoral defeat 1997.

Britain’s Position in the World 1951–1997

Relations with and policies towards the USA and the USSR; Britain’s influence at the UN; role in Europe; nuclear policy; response to crises: Korean War, Suez, the Falklands War, First Gulf War; decolonisation and changing attitudes to the Commonwealth.

Please click here for Course Reading List and Materials: Unit Y143: Britain c.1930–1997 and Enquiry Topic: Churchill 1930–1951