The Welfare State

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by LordAllagon
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
World History

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The Welfare State

The Welfare State

After WWII, Britain was left in shambles, economically. They owed huge amounts of money to the US, as part of the Lend Lease agreement (which they used to fund the war effort). Churchill, who had been PM during the conflict, lost the elections to the Labor Party, which acquired 400 seats in Parliament, an amount that let them pass any law or reform they wished (for comparison, the Conservatives, Churchill's party, only had 200 seats).

The term ‘welfare state’ comes from the concept of a State that exists to provide welfare (medical care, employment, social services, among others) to the people.

DecolonizationDuring the war, Britain had to spread out its troops to protect its colonies, spending huge amounts of money and manpower to do so. This convinced Prime Minister Clement Attlee, the leader of the Labor Party, to start granting independence to the colonies. India was the first, but others followed. Later, British ex-colonies would be integrated into a system called the Commonwealth of Nations, under the head of the Queen.

Clement Attlee was the main force behind the Welfare State's creation.

Reforms introduced:·Creation of the National Health Service.·Nationalization of the coal, steel, utilities, and railroads industries.·Expansion of government social services.·Decolonization process, starting with India in 1947.·Right to a free secondary education.·Introduction of child benefits.


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