The Attlee Government - 1945-1951

  • Created by: NewGirl.
  • Created on: 30-04-13 10:14

The Attlee Government - 1945-1951


  • > Development of the Welfare state
  • > Devaluation (In hindsight - better for the economy)
  • > The Post-War Consensus - founded politics for the next 20-30yrs.
  • > Outwardly still a major world power.
  • > First wave of decolonisation = India 1947 (relieved burden)
  • > Nationalisation = Increased efficiency (to an extent)
  • > NATO membership = defensive alliance.
  • > Nuclear Power = research began under Attlee.
  • > Housing = Labour initiated a major housing programme.


  • > 'Gaitskellites' and 'Bevanites' division - internal weakness.
  • > Trade union conflicts = response to labour's slowness to react.
  • > Korean War - angered the left of the Labour party.
  • > Conservative recovery in light of Labour divisions.
  • > Nationalisation - point of weakness for Labour eventually.
  • > High war time debt and balance of payments.
  • >Attlee government was worn down - physically and economically.
  • > Use of Nuclear weapons = point of division (later CND)
  • > Decolonisation = seen as decline.


Essentially, the main achievement that derived from the Attlee government between the years 1945-1951 was the Welfare state that is in essence, still intact today. The NHS has been ingrained into society itself, upon which any attempt at removing the NHS from the British public could be sincerely dangerous to the government. Economically, devaluation was seen to improve the economy, not vastly, however following the Attlee years came the post-war boom. Unfortunately, it may not be wholeheartedly credited to Attlee. The divisions between the Labour government at this time is almost synonymous with Attlee, had these divisions not taken place to such a grand effect, the Conservative manifesto of 1951 may not have had such a wide target to hit in terms of the opinions of the electorate. Indeed, the main achievement of the Attlee government, was the expansions and re-shaping of the Welfare state that cannot be ignored as a major contribution to modern Britain.


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