Britain 1964-1979: Edward Falshaw Advises How Our Study of This Important Period Can Match the Examiners' Agenda

By Falshaw, Edward | History Review, March 2004 | Go to article overview

Britain 1964-1979: Edward Falshaw Advises How Our Study of This Important Period Can Match the Examiners' Agenda


Falshaw, Edward, History Review


The new AQA A2 syllabus is more daring and modern than ever before. Events between 1964 and 1997 are proving a fertile ground for debate and discussion in classrooms around the country. Below are detailed some of the important syllabus topics in the first half of the period, 1964-79. They are designed to provide stimulus and guidance. Through a careful study of this period, you will gain a better understanding of Britain's modern-day economy, politics, society and culture.

'The Swinging Sixties'

This is a key area of study, from the standard of living and morality down to the fashion and music of the time. A key question to consider is the extent to which a 'revolution' in society actually took place and whether it enhanced people's lives. For many, positive change was helped by a progressive government attitude, led by Roy Jenkins, who passed a number of 'permissive' acts, such as the Abortion Act (1967) and Sexual Offences Act (1967). Whether these acts and changing trends amount to a 'revolution' or merely a progression of society is a difficult question to answer, but be prepared to comment on specific areas such as education, the cinema, music, sport and the changing role of women, using specific examples. Also, give thought to what caused this so-called 'revolution'.

Be careful not to consider the decade merely in terms of 'cool' and 'groovy' aspects, as behind the growth in consumerism, the mini-skirt and the Beetles lay subversive elements such as the growth in hooliganism, crime, casual drug use and sexual promiscuity. Whilst the popular perception of the 1960s as a happy and carefree decade can over-cloud the negative, the truth for the majority of the population is somewhere between the two, so be sure to look for balance when answering questions on this topic. As Robert Pearce suggests, with a population of approximately 55 million, it is 'not surprising that evidence exists to support almost every view about behaviour and moral standards'. Ultimately, 'the Sixties' was a decade with its own varied character.

Difficulties for Wilson and Callaghan

Like Winston Churchill, on becoming Prime Minister Harold Wilson felt his life had been 'but a preparation for this hour and this trial'. This 'trial' beginning in 1964 was made up of a number of features that you will need to master, from the slender majority gained at the general election, to dissension in the ranks of the party and the wider Labour Movement, to perhaps the most important reason, economic crises, which dominated the next six years. An over-valued pound brought grave problems, especially with exports, and Wilson tried to avoid the inevitable devaluation, which came in November 1967. As Sked and Cook deduced, 'A courageous early devaluation might have transformed the achievements of the Labour government'. As it stands, many see this period as one of failure and disappointment, given Wilson's election promise to work with the 'white heat of technology' and develop Britain's social and economic standing.

When Labour returned to office in 1974, Wilson had lost his direction and 'spark'. He resigned in 1976, leaving the avuncular James Callaghan to step into No.10. It could be claimed that Callaghan's greatest achievement was keeping the Labour Party in office for as long as he did, as the government were forced into a pact with the Liberals (the Lib-Lab Pact) just to survive. It was, unsurprisingly, the economy that provided the defining moment of the government in 1976, as Chancellor Denis Healey announced he was going to the International Monetary Fund for a loan of $3 billion. The conditions attached were harsh, including drastic cutbacks in public spending. In the end, Healey had miscalculated and the loan wasn't even needed, yet its importance lies in the fact that it provided the impetus for Callaghan to begin the shift away from Keynesian economics towards what would later be called monetarism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Britain 1964-1979: Edward Falshaw Advises How Our Study of This Important Period Can Match the Examiners' Agenda
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.