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British Social Policy and the Second World War - Essay Example

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Socialist policies vary over the world. Different countries offer different social and welfare policy keeping in mind the attitudes of the populace of the nation. The concept of the welfare state has become popular in recent years but the concept has been around since even before the Second World War, as compared to the popular belief that the War saw the beginning of the concept of the welfare state.
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British Social Policy and the Second World War
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"British Social Policy and the Second World War"

Download file to see previous pages It was their belief that the government should be spending more time taking action than wasting its time on policy building. (Alcock, 2003, page 88)
In 1942 Joseph Schumpeter proposed an idea that Britain's socialism was less ethically sound as compared to the rest of Europe's. He believed that the people did not consider social justice as an endowment but as their right. This in turn led the Britons to take an unappreciative approach to the policy makers and government as a whole. A couple of other reasons included that after the World War many people believed that they would soon lose their jobs and would emigrate to some other country such as South Africa. The state wished to build a sense of solidarity instead they were faced with a state of emergency. People believed that the government could have diverted the war and was ineffective in managing the state's affairs. The people took for granted society's business to support them when they were unemployed and to care for them in their old age. But observing the development of the English citizen's social rights it can be seen that this attitude had been prevailing since the 1930s. An Example of a movement which signifies this phenomenon is the rebellion against the Unemployment Assistance Board in 1935. This signifies that the workers knew of their rights and what they deserved even before the war was on the horizon. So contributing the welfare movement to the war seems imprecise. (Glynn & Booth, 1996, pages 98-99).
By 1939 the government had now undertaken the responsibility to keep peace throughout the state, provide protection to the people, provide for their education but now the added responsibility included providing economic welfare to all its citizens. This was harmful for the government as now they had to look after the actual deserving such as widows and retired citizens as well as the undeserving such as unemployed drunkards (Jacobs, 1993, page 46). The war helped implement military efficiency into the system of welfare but the system did exist even before the war.
Many war time inventions became adapted into people's personal lives during that era. The transistor radio is one such gadget that became incorporated into people's households. Aside from the technical inventions, the social experiments also became popular in their implementation in everyday procedures. The medical profession benefited from the new techniques in managing the influx of patients and it became easier to manage large number of patients. Wars also recognize social weaknesses. Evacuating people from different regions of the country discovered potential transportation problems and terrible living conditions (Addison, 1975, page 32).
Around 1940 Ernest Bevin proved to be a major influencer of the time. He was the Minister of Labour and most of his decisions were beneficial for the people working in the industrial sector. Recognizing how the people working should be given the proper atmosphere and work place environment he instigated many policies related to minimum wages in a step wise procedure implementing them in industry after industry. He believed that these measures would bring about a Social Revolution for the working class.
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