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Historians like Bernard Porter have characterized the mid-Victorian era, (1850-1870) as Britain's 'Golden Years.'.[45] There was peace and prosperity, as the national income per person grew by half. Much of the prosperity was due to the increasing industrialization, especially in textiles and machinery, as well as to the worldwide network of trade and engineering that produce profits for British merchants and experts from across the globe. HP G42-415DX Keyboard

There was peace abroad (apart from the short Crimean war, 1854–56), and social peace at home. Opposition to the new order melted away, says Porter. The Chartist movement, peaked as a democratic movement among the working class in 1848; its leaders moved to other pursuits, such as trade unions and cooperative societies.SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Keyboard

The working class ignored foreign agitators like Karl Marx in their midst, and joined in celebrating the new prosperity. Employers typically were paternalistic, and generally recognized the trade unions.[46] Companies provided their employees with welfare services ranging from housing, schools and churches, to libraries, baths, and gymnasia. DELL Inspiron M5030 Keyboard

Middle-class reformers did their best to assist the working classes aspire to middle-class norms of 'respectability.'There was a spirit of libertarianism, says Porter, as people felt they were free. Taxes were very low, and government restrictions were minimal. There were still problem areas, such as occasional riots, especially those motivated by anti-Catholicism. HP 519265-001 Keyboard

Society was still ruled by the aristocracy and the gentry, which controlled high government offices, both houses of Parliament, the church, and the military. Becoming a rich businessman was not as prestigious as inheriting a title and owning a landed estate. Literature was doing well, but the fine arts languished as the Great Exhibition of 1851 showcased Britain's industrial prowess rather than its sculpture, painting or music. Lenovo 45N2106 Keyboard

The educational system was mediocre; the capstone universities (outside Scotland) were likewise mediocre.[47] Historian Llewellyn Woodward has concluded:[48]

For leisure or work, for getting or spending, England was a better country in 1879 than in 1815. The scales were less weighted against the weak, against women and children, and against the poor. HP 365485-001 Keyboard

There was greater movement, and less of the fatalism of an earlier age. The public conscience was more instructed, and the content of liberty was being widened to include something more than freedom from political constraint.... Yet England in 1871 was by no means an earthly paradise. DELL Vostro 1014 Keyboard

The housing and conditions of life of the working class in town & country were still a disgrace to an age of plenty.

The Great London Exhibition of 1851 clearly demonstrated Britain's dominance in engineering and industry; that lasted until the rise of the United States and Germany in the 1890s. FUJITSU Lifebook E8210 Keyboard

Using the imperial tools of free trade and financial investment,[49] it exerted major influence on many countries outside Europe, especially in Latin America and Asia. Thus Britain had both a formal Empire based on British rule and an informal one based on the British pound.

One nagging fear was the possible collapse of the Ottoman Empire. TOSHIBA 9Z.N4WSC.001 Keyboard

It was well understood that a collapse of that country would set off a scramble for its territory and possibly plunge Britain into war. To head that off Britain sought to keep the Russians from occupying Constantinople and taking over the Bosporous Straits, as well as from threatening India via Afghanistan.[51]  FUJITSU Siemens M1010 Keyboard

In 1853, Britain and France intervened in the Crimean War against Russia. Despite mediocre generalship, they managed to capture the Russian port of Sevastopol, compelling Tsar Nicholas I to ask for peace.[52] A second Russo-Ottoman war in 1877 led to another European intervention, although this time at the negotiating table. GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Keyboard

The Congress of Berlin blocked Russia from imposing the harsh Treaty of San Stefano on the Ottoman Empire.[53] Despite its alliance with the French in the Crimean War, Britain viewed the Second Empire of Napoleon III with some distrust, especially as the emperor constructed ironclad warships and began returning France to a more active foreign policy.  SONY 148738121 Keyboard

But after Napoleon's downfall in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he was allowed to spent his last years exiled in Britain.During the American Civil War (1861–1865), British leaders personally disliked American republicanism and favoured the more aristocratic Confederacy, as it had been a major source of cotton for textile mills.  DELL PVDG3 Keyboard

Prince Albert was effective in defusing a war scare in late 1861. The British people, who depended heavily on American food imports, generally favoured the United States. What little cotton was available came from New York, as the blockade by the US Navy shut down 95% of Southern exports to Britain. I DELL INSPIRON 1464 Keyboard

n September 1862, during the Confederate invasion of Maryland, Britain (along with France) contemplated stepping in and negotiating a peace settlement, which could only mean war with the United States. But in the same month, US president Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation. DELL Vostro 3350 Keyboard

Since support of the Confederacy now meant support for slavery, there was no longer any possibility of European intervention.[54]

Meanwhile the British sold arms to both sides, built blockade runners for a lucrative trade with the Confederacy, and surreptitiously allowed warships to be built for the Confederacy.  DELL Precision M4500 Keyboard

The warships caused a major diplomatic row that was resolved in the Alabama Claims in 1872, in the Americans' favour.

In 1867, Britain united most of its North American colonies as the Dominion of Canada, giving it self-government and responsibility for its own defence, but Canada did not have an independent foreign policy until 1931. HP Pavilion dv6-3040sp Keyboard

Several of the colonies temporarily refused to join the Dominion despite pressure from both Canada and Britain; the last one, Newfoundland, held out until 1949.

The second half of the 19th century saw a huge expansion of Britain's colonial empire in Asia and Africa. HP 519265-001 Keyboard

In the latter continent, there was talk of the Union Jack flying from "Cairo to Cape Town", which only became a reality at the end of World War I. Having possessions on six continents, Britain had to defend all of its empire with a volunteer army, for it was the only power in Europe to have no conscription. Some questioned whether the country was overstretched. HP G42-415DX Keyboard

 

The rise of the German Empire since 1871 posed a new challenge, for it (along with the United States) threatened to take Britain's place as the world's foremost industrial power. Germany acquired a number of colonies in Africa and the Pacific, but Chancellor Otto von Bismarck succeeded in achieving general peace through his balance of power strategy. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Keyboard

When William II became emperor in 1888, he discarded Bismarck, began using bellicose language, and planned to build a navy to rival Britain's.[56]

Ever since Britain had taken control of South Africa from the Netherlands in the Napoleonic Wars, it had run afoul of the Dutch settlers who further away and created two republics of their own.  HP Mini 210-1109TU Keyboard

The British imperial vision called for control over the new countries and the Dutch-speaking "Boers" (or "Afrikaners") fought back in the War in 1899–1902. Outgunned by a mighty empire, the Boers waged a guerilla war, which gave the British regulars a difficult fight, but weight of numbers, superior equipment, and often brutal tactics eventually brought about a British victory. SONY VAIO VGN-FS315Z Keyboard

The war had been costly in human rights and was widely criticised by Liberals in Britain and worldwide. However, the United States gave its support. The Boer republics were merged into Union of South Africa in 1910; it had internal self-government but its foreign policy was controlled by London and was an integral part of the British Empire.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Keyboard

 

Britain in addition to taking control of new territories, developed an enormous power in economic and financial affairs in numerous independent countries, especially in Latin America and Asia. It lent money, built railways, and engaged in trade. The Great London Exhibition of 1851 clearly demonstrated Britain's dominance in engineering, communications and industry; that lasted until the rise of the United States and Germany in the 1890s. HP Pavilion G6-1227TU Keyboard

 

In 1890-1902 under Salisbury Britain promoted a policy of Splendid isolation with no formal allies.

Part of the agreement which led to the 1800 Act of Union stipulated that the Penal Laws in Ireland were to be repealed and Catholic Emancipation granted. HP AEUT5U00010 Keyboard

However King George III blocked emancipation, arguing that to grant it would break his coronation oath to defend the Anglican Church. A campaign under lawyer and politician Daniel O'Connell, and the death of George III, led to the concession of Catholic Emancipation in 1829, allowing Catholics to sit in Parliament. HP Mini 110-3004tu Keyboard

O'Connell then mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the Repeal of the Act of Union.

When potato blight hit the island in 1846, much of the rural population was left without food because cash crops were being exported to pay rents.British politicians such as the Prime Minister Robert Peel were at this time wedded to the economic policy of laissez-faire, which argued against state intervention of any sort. SONY V072078BS1 Keyboard

While enormous sums were raised by private individuals and charities (American Indians[who?] sent supplies, while Queen Victoria personally gave the present-day equivalent € 70,000), lack of adequate action let the problem become a catastrophe. The class of cottiers or farm labourers was virtually wiped out in what became known in Britain as 'The Irish Potato Famine' and in Ireland as the Great Hunger. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Keyboard

 

Most Irish people elected as their MPs Liberals and Conservatives who belonged to the main British political parties (note: the poor didn't have a vote at that time). A significant minority also elected Unionists, who championed the cause of the maintenance of the Act of Union. A former Tory barrister turned nationalist campaigner, Isaac Butt, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Keyboard

established a new moderate nationalist movement, the Home Rule League, in the 1870s. After Butt's death the Home Rule Movement, or the Irish Parliamentary Party as it had become known, was turned into a major political force under the guidance of William Shaw and in particular a radical young Protestant landowner, Charles Stewart Parnell. ACER Extensa 5635Z Keyboard

The Irish Parliamentary Party dominated Irish politics, to the exclusion of the previous Liberal, Conservative and Unionist parties that had existed. Parnell's movement proved to be a broad church, from conservative landowners to the Land League which was campaigning for fundamental reform of Irish landholding, where most farms were held on rental from large aristocratic estates.  Lenovo 45N2106 Keyboard

 

Parnell's movement campaigned for 'Home Rule', by which they meant that Ireland would govern itself as a region within the United Kingdom, in contrast to O'Connell who wanted complete independence subject to a shared monarch and Crown. Two Home Rule Bills (1886 and 1893) were introduced by Liberal Prime Minister Ewart Gladstone, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 Keyboard

but neither became law, mainly due to opposition from the House of Lords. The issue divided Ireland, for a significant unionist minority (largely though by no means exclusively based in Ulster), opposed Home Rule, fearing that a Catholic-Nationalist parliament in Dublin would discriminate against them and would also impose tariffs on industry; HP Pavilion DV7-3060us Keyboard

while most of Ireland was primarily agricultural, six counties in Ulster were the location of heavy industry and would be affected by any tariff barriers imposed.

The Queen gave her name to an era of British greatness, especially in the far-flung British Empire with which she identified. She played a small role in politics, but became the iconic symbol of the nation, the empire, and proper, restrained behaviour.[6 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E120 Keyboard

2] Her strength lay in good common sense and directness of character; she expressed the qualities of the British nation which at that time made it preeminent in the world. As a symbol of domesticity, endurance and Empire, and as a woman holding the highest public office during an age when middle- and upper-class IBM 42T3671 Keyboard

women were expected to beautify the home while men dominated the public sphere, Queen Victoria's influence has been enduring. Her success as ruler was due to the power of the self-images she successively portrayed of innocent young woman, devoted wife and mother, suffering and patient widow, and grandmotherly matriarch. HP 519265-001 Keyboard

 

Disraeli and Gladstone dominated the politics of the late 19th century, Britain's golden age of parliamentary government. They long were idolized, but historians in recent decades have become much more critical, especially regarding Disraeli.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), prime minister 1868 and 1874–80, remains an iconic hero of the Conservative Party.  SONY Vaio PCG-K215M Keyboard

He was typical of the generation of British leaders who matured in the 1830s and 1840s. He was concerned with threats to established political, social, and religious values and elites; he emphasized the need for national leadership in response to radicalism, uncertainty, and materialism.[ Lenovo 3000 Y500 Keyboard

He is especially known for his enthusiastic support for expanding and strengthening the British Empire in India and Africa as the foundation of British greatness, in contrast to Gladstone's negative attitude toward imperialism. Gladstone denounced Disraeli's policies of territorial aggrandizement, ACER TravelMate 6292 Keyboard

military pomp, and imperial symbolism (such as making the Queen Empress of India), saying it did not fit a modern commercial and Christian nation. Disraeli drummed up support by warnings of a supposed Russian threat to India that sank deep into the Conservative mindset. TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1196 Keyboard

Disraeli's old reputation as the "Tory democrat" and promoter of the welfare state fell away as historians showed he that Disraeli had few proposals for social legislation in 1874–80, and that the 1867 Reform Act did not reflect a vision Conservatism for the unenfranchised working man.[67] DELL NSK-D8001 Keyboard

However he did work to reduce class antagonism, for as Perry notes, "When confronted with specific problems, he sought to reduce tension between town and country, landlords and farmers, capital and labour, and warring religious sects in Britain and Ireland—in other words, to create a unifying synthesis." SONY VAIO VGN-CS31S/R Keyboard

 

William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898) was the Liberal counterpart to Disraeli, serving as prime minister four times (1868–74, 1880–85, 1886, and 1892–94). His financial policies, based on the notion of balanced budgets, low taxes and laissez-faire, were suited to a developing capitalist society but could not respond effectively as economic and social conditions changed. HP Pavilion dv6-3045eo Keyboard

Called the "Grand Old Man" later in life, he was always a dynamic popular orator who appealed strongly to British workers and lower middle class. The deeply religious Gladstone brought a new moral tone to politics with his evangelical sensibility and opposition to aristocracy. His moralism often angered his upper-class opponents  Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 Keyboard

 (including Queen Victoria, who strongly favoured Disraeli), and his heavy-handed control split the Liberal party. His foreign policy goal was to create a European order based on cooperation rather than conflict and mutual trust instead of rivalry and suspicion; the rule of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. DELL 0PVDG3 Keyboard

This Gladstonian concept of a harmonious Concert of Europe was opposed to and ultimately defeated by the Germans with a Bismarckian system of manipulated alliances and antagonisms.

Historians portray Conservative prime Minister Lord Salisbury (1830–1903) as a talented leader who was an icon of traditional, aristocratic conservatism.[70] TOSHIBA PK130260100 Keyboard

Robert Blake considers Salisbury "a great foreign minister, [but] essentially negative, indeed reactionary in home affairs".[71] Professor P.T. Marsh’s estimate is more favourable than Blake's, he portrays Salisbury as a leader who "held back the popular tide for twenty years."[72] Professor Paul Smith argues that, ACER Aspire 2920-5A2G25Mi Keyboard

"into the ‘progressive’ strain of modern Conservatism he simply will not fit."[73] Professor H.C.G. Matthew points to "the narrow cynicism of Salisbury".[74] One admirer of Salisbury, Maurice Cowling largely agrees with the critics and says Salisbury found the democracy born of the 1867 and 1884 Reform Acts as "perhaps less objectionable than he had expected—succeeding, through his public persona, in mitigating some part of its nastiness."COMPAQ Presario CQ60-215DX Keyboard

The Victorian era is famous for the Victorian standards of personal morality. Historians generally agree that the middle classes held high personal moral standards (and usually followed them), but have debated whether the working classes followed suit. Moralists in the late 19th century such as Henry Mayhew decried the slums for their supposed high levels of cohabitation without marriage and illegitimate births.  TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4050 Keyboard

However new research using computerized matching of data files shows that the rates of cohabitation were quote low—under 5%—for the working class and the poor. By contrast in 21st century Britain, nearly half of all children are born outside marriage, and nine in ten newlyweds have been cohabitating. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Keyboard

 

Queen Victoria died in 1901 and her son Edward VII became king, inaugurating the Edwardian Era, which was characterised by great and ostentatious displays of wealth in contrast to the sombre Victorian Era. With the advent of the 20th century, things such as motion pictures, automobiles, and aeroplanes were coming into use.  ASUS F6VE Keyboard

The new century was characterised by a feeling of great optimism. The social reforms of the last century continued into the 20th with the Labour Party being formed in 1900. Edward died in 1910, to be succeeded by George V, who reigned 1910–36. Scandal-free, hard working and popular, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Keyboard

George V was the British monarch who, with Queen Mary, established the modern pattern of exemplary conduct for British royalty, based on middle-class values and virtues. He understood the overseas Empire better than any of his prime ministers and used his exceptional memory for figures and details, whether of uniforms, politics, or relations, to good effect in reaching out in conversation with his subjects. SONY VAIO VGN NR298E Keyboard

The era was prosperous but political crises were escalating out of control. Dangerfield (1935) identified the "strange death of liberal England" as the multiple crisis that hit simultaneously in 1910–1914 with serious social and political instability arising from the Irish crisis, labor unrest, the women's suffrage movements, and partisan and constitutional struggles in Parliament. HP Mini 210 Keyboard

At one point it even seemed the Army might refuse orders dealing with Northern Ireland.[78] No solution appeared in sight when the unexpected outbreak of the Great War in 1914 put domestic issues on hold.

McKibben argues that the political party system of the Edwardian era was in delicate balance on the eve of the war in 1914. Acer eMachines E732 Keyboard

The Liberals were in power with a progressive alliance of Labour and, off and on, Irish Nationalists. The coalition was committed to free trade (as opposed to the high tariffs the Conservatives sought), free collective bargaining for trades unions (which Conservatives opposed), HP Pavilion DV7-3188cl Keyboard

an active social policy that was forging the welfare state, and constitutional reform to reduce the power of the House of Lords. The coalition lacked a long-term plan, because it was cobbled together from leftovers from the 1890s. The sociological basis was non-Anglican religion and non-English ethnicity rather than the emerging class conflict emphasized by Labour. TOSHIBA NSK-T4D01 Keyboard

 

Britain entered the war because of its implicit support for France, which had entered to support Russia, which in turn had entered to support Serbia. Even more important than that chain of links was Britain's determination to honor its commitment to defend Belgium. Britain was loosely part of the Triple Entente with France and Russia, HP 405963-001 Keyboard

which (with smaller allies) fought the Central Powers of Germany, Austria and the Ottoman Empire. After a few weeks the Western Front turned into a killing ground in which millions of men died but no army made a large advance.

The stalemate required an endless supply of men and munitions. By 1916, volunteering fell off, SAMSUNG Q35 Keyboard

the government imposed conscription in Britain (but not in Ireland) to keep up the strength of the Army. After a rough start in industrial mobilisation, Britain replaced prime minister Asquith in December 1916 with the much more dynamic Liberal leader David Lloyd George. The nation now successfully mobilised its manpower, womanpower, industry, finances, HP Pavilion dv6-2133ee Keyboard

Empire and diplomacy, in league with France and the U.S. to defeat the enemy. After defeating Russia, the Germans tried to win in the spring of 1918 before the millions of American soldiers arrived. They failed, and they were overwhelmed and finally accepted an Armistice in November, 1918, that amounted to a surrender.SONY VAIO VGN NR185E Keyboard

 

Britain eagerly supported the war, but in Ireland the Catholics were restless and plotted a rebellion in 1916. It failed but the brutal repression that followed turned that element against Britain.[80][81][82][83] The economy grew about 14% from 1914 to 1918 despite the absence of so many men in the services; by contrast the German economy shrank 27%. ACER 9J.N1H82.01D Keyboard

The War saw a decline of civilian consumption, with a major reallocation to munitions. The government share of GDP soared from 8% in 1913 to 38% in 1918 (compared to 50% in 1943).[84][85] The war forced Britain to use up its financial reserves and borrow large sums from New York banks. HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx CPU Fan

After the U.S. entered in April 1917, the Treasury borrowed directly from the U.S. government.

The Royal Navy dominate the seas, almost, but not quite, defeating the smaller German fleet in the only great battle, the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Germany was blockaded and was increasingly short of food. HP Pavilion dv7-3125eo CPU Fan

It tried to fight back with submarines, despite the risk of war by the powerful neutral power the United States. The waters around Britain were declared a war zone where any ship, neutral or otherwise, was a target. After the liner Lusitania was sunk in May 1915, drowning over 100 American passengers, protests by the United States led Germany to abandon unrestricted submarine warfare. HP Pavilion dv4-1133tx CPU Fan

With victory over Russia in 1917 Germany now calculated it could finally have numerical superiority on the Western Front. Planning for a massive spring offensive in 1918, it resumed the sinking of all merchant ships without warning. The US entered the war alongside the Allies (without actually joining them), HP 606013-001 CPU Fan

and provided the needed money and supplies to keep them going. the u-boats were defeated by a convoy system across the Atlantic.

On other fronts, the British, French, Australians, and Japanese seized Germany's colonies. Britain fought the Ottoman Empire, suffering defeats in the Gallipoli Campaign) and in Mesopotamia, while arousing the Arabs who helped expel the Turks from their lands. HP COMPAQ KSB05105HA CPU Fan

Exhaustion and war-weariness were growing worse in 1917, as the fighting in France continued with no end in sight. The German spring offensives of 1918 failed, and with the arrival of the American in summer at the rate of 10,000 a day the Germans realized they were being overwhelmed. Germany agreed to an armistice—actually a surrender—on 11 November 1918. HP 538340-001 CPU Fan

 

Victorian attitudes and ideals that had continued into the first years of the 20th century changed during World War I. The army had traditionally never been a large employer in the nation, with the regular army standing at 247,432 at the start of the war.[86] By 1918, there were about five million people in the army and the fledgling Royal Air Force, HP Pavilion dv6-2150us CPU Fan

newly formed from the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), was about the same size of the pre-war army. The almost three million casualties were known as the "lost generation," and such numbers inevitably left society scarred; but even so, some people felt their sacrifice was little regarded in Britain, DELL MD538 CPU Fan

with poems like Siegfried Sassoon's Blighters criticising the ill-informed jingoism of the home front.

The war had been won by Britain and its allies, but at a terrible human and financial cost, creating a sentiment that wars should never be fought again. HP Pavilion dv7-6187cl CPU Fan

The League of Nations was founded with the idea that nations could resolve their differences peacefully, but these hopes were unfounded. The harsh peace settlement imposed on Germany would leave it embittered and seeking revenge.

At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, Lloyd George, American President Woodrow Wilson and French premier Georges Clemenceau made all the major decisions. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

The formed the League of Nations as a mechanism to prevent future wars. They sliced up the losers to form new nations in Europe, and divided up the German colonies and Ottoman holdings outside Turkey. They imposed what appeared to be heavy financial reparations (but with in the event were of modest size).  HP Pavilion dv7-3065dx CPU Fan

They humiliated Germany by forcing it to declare its guilt for starting the war, a policy that caused deep resentment in Germany and helped fuel reactions such as Naziism. Britain gained the German colony of Tanganyika and part of Togoland in Africa, while its dominions added other colonies. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

Britain gained League of Nations mandates over Palestine, which had been partly promised as a homeland for Jewish settlers, and Iraq. Iraq became fully independent in 1932. Egypt, which had been a British protectorate since 1882, became independent in 1922, although the British remained there until 1952. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

 

In 1912, the House of Lords managed to delay a Home Rule bill passed by the House of Commons. It was enacted as the Government of Ireland Act 1914. During these two years the threat of religious civil war hung over Ireland with the creation of the Unionist Ulster Volunteers opposed to the Act and their nationalist counterparts, the Irish Volunteers supporting the Act. SONY VAIO PCG-6L2L CPU Fan

The outbreak of World War I in 1914 put the crisis on political hold. A disorganized Easter Rising in 1916 was brutally suppressed by the British, which had the effect of galvanizing Catholic demands for independence. Prime Minister David Lloyd George failed to introduce Home Rule in 1918 and in the December 1918 General Election Sinn Féin won a majority of Irish seats. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

Its MPs refused to take their seats at Westminster, instead choosing to sit in the First Dáil parliament in Dublin. A declaration of independence was ratified by Dáil Éireann, the self-declared Republic's parliament in January 1919. An Anglo-Irish War was fought between Crown forces and the Irish Republican Army between January 1919 and June 1921. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1S0E/BJ CPU Fan

The war ended with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 that established the Irish Free State.[88] Six northern, predominantly Protestant counties became Northern Ireland and have remained part of Britain ever since, despite demands of the Catholic minority to unite with the Republic of Ireland. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

Britain officially adopted the name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" by the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927.

Historian Arthur Marwick sees a radical transformation of British society resulting from the Great War, a deluge that swept away many old attitudes and brought in a more equalitarian society. SONY Vaio VGN-BX760PS5 CPU Fan

He sees the famous literary pessimism of the 1920s as misplaced, arguing there were major positive long-term consequences of the war to British society. He points to an energized self-consciousness among workers that quickly built up the Labour Party, the coming of partial woman suffrage, and an acceleration of social reform and state control of the economy. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

He sees a decline of deference toward the aristocracy and established authority in general, and the weakening among youth of traditional restraints on individual moral behavior. The chaperone faded away; village druggists sold contraceptives. Marwick says that class distinctions softened, national cohesion increased, and British society became more equal.  HP Pavilion dv7-3065dx CPU Fan

 

Two major programs that permanently expanded the welfare state passed in 1919 and 1920 with surprisingly little debate, even as the Conservatives dominated parliament. The Housing and Town Planning Act of 1919 set up a system of government housing that followed the 1918 campaign promises of “homes fit for heroes.” HP 550 CPU Fan

HP Pavilion dv7-3170ep CPU Fan

The Addison Act, named after the first Minister of Health Doctor Christopher Addison, required local authorities to survey their housing needs, and start building houses to replace slums. The treasury subsidized the low rents. In England and Wales, 214,000 houses were built, and the Ministry of Health became largely a ministry of housing.[90] IBM 26R8197 CPU Fan

 

The Unemployment Insurance Act of 1920 passed at a time of very little unemployment. It set up the dole system that provided 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to practically the entire civilian working population except domestic service, farm workers, and civil servants. Funded in part by weekly contributions from both employers and employed, HP Pavilion dv7-6187cl CPU Fan

it provided weekly payments of 15s for unemployed men and 12s for unemployed women. Historian Charles Mowat calls these two laws "Socialism by the back door," and notes how surprised politicians were when the costs to the Treasury soared during the high unemployment of 1921. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5831 CPU Fan

 

The Lloyd-George coalition fell apart in 1922. Stanley Baldwin, as leader of the Conservative Party (1923–37) and as Prime Minister (in 1923–24, 1924–29 and 1935–37), dominated British politics.[92] His mixture of strong social reforms and steady government proved a powerful election combination,  IBM MCF-217PAM05 CPU Fan

with the result that the Conservatives governed Britain either by themselves or as the leading component of the National Government. He was the last party leader to win over 50% of the vote (in the general election of 1931). Baldwin's political strategy was to polarize the electorate so that voters would choose between the Conservatives on the right and the Labour Party on the left, squeezing out the Liberals in the middle.[93 APPLE 661-4952 CPU Fan

] The polarization did take place and while the Liberals remained active under Lloyd George, they won few seats and were a minor factor until they joined a coalition with the Conservatives in 2010. Baldwin's reputation soared in the 1920s and 1930s, but crashed after 1945 as he was blamed for the appeasement policies toward Germany,  Dell Vostro 3500 CPU Fan

and as admirers of Churchill made him the Conservative icon. Since the 1970s Baldwin's reputation has recovered somewhat.[94]

Labour won the 1923 election, but in 1924 Baldwin and the Conservatives returned with a large majority.Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

 

McKibbin finds that the political culture of the interwar period was built around an anti-socialist middle class, supported by the Conservative leaders, especially Baldwin.

Taxes rose sharply during the war and never returned to their old levels. A rich man paid 8% of his income in taxes before the war, and about a third afterwards. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

Much of the money went for the dole, the weekly unemployment benefits. About 5% of the national income every year was transferred from the rich to the poor. Taylor argues most people "were enjoying a richer life than any previously known in the history of the world: longer holidays, shorter hours, higher real wages."[96]HP Pavilion dv9230us CPU Fan

 

The British economy was lackluster in the 1920s, with sharp declines and high unemployment in heavy industry and coal, especially in Scotland and Wales. Exports of coal and steel fell in half by 1939 and the business community was slow to adopt the new labour and management principles coming from the US, such as Fordism, consumer credit, eliminating surplus capacity, designing a more structured management, and using greater economies of scale.[97IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Series CPU Fan

   

] For over a century the shipping industry had dominated world trade, but it remained in the doldrums despite various stimulus efforts by the government. With the very sharp decline in world trade after 1929, its condition became critical.[98] HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill put Britain back on the gold standard in 1925, which many economists blame for the mediocre performance of the economy. Others point to a variety of factors, including the inflationary effects of the World War and supply-side shocks caused by reduced working hours after the war.[99] IBM ThinkPad T60 2637 CPU Fan

 

By the late 1920s, economic performance had stabilised, but the overall situation was disappointing, for Britain had fallen behind the United States as the leading industrial power. There also remained a strong economic divide between the north and south of England during this period, APPLE MG62090V1-Q020-S99 CPU Fan

 

with the south of England and the Midlands fairly prosperous by the Thirties, while parts of south Wales and the industrial north of England became known as "distressed areas" due to particularly high rates of unemployment and poverty. HP 535766-001 CPU Fan,HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan, Dell Vostro 3350 CPU Fan

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