The Transformation of British society


National Shipbuilders Securities NSS


Shipyard owners set up the NSS to make shipbuilding efficient.

Government responses 1930's


The government had huge debts and made huge public spending cuts.
It launched a publicity campaign to justify the cuts.

Unemployment in the 1931-39

1931 - 1939

~Unemployment highest in the coal Iorn and steel, cotton and shipbuilding industries.
~Unemployment was highest in the north and east of England and in Scotland and Wales.
~New light in Industries did better, mostly in the south of England

The Means Test


A means test was proposed in 1931 because there wasn't enough money to pay benefits. 270'000 people failed the test, it was demeaning and forced people to prove they were poor enough to have benefits - many were even made to sell possessions.

Jarrow's shipyard closed


The NSS closed Palmer's Shipyard in 1934, Jarrow's main employer. By 1935 unemployment in Jarrow had risen to 64%.

The unemployment act


This act set up a board to run the Dole.The Unemployment Act 1934 was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, reaching statue on 28 June 1934. It reduced the age at which a person entered the National Insurance scheme to 14 and made the claiming age 16 years. It also separated benefits earned by paying National Insurance and those purely based on need (the dole)

The Special Areas Act


The Special areas act 1934 put £2 million into Scotland Tyneside, Cumberland and South Wales to attract industry to some of the poorer areas.

Jarrow Crusade


In 1936 people in Jarrow sent 200 workers on a march to London with a petition to ask for work. The national unemployed workers' movement (NUWM), backed by the Labour party, was also organising a National Hunger March. But the people of Jarrow did not want to join the march: the NUWM was associated with communists. Popular opinion on the the crusade varied; the marchers got a lot of support but also criticism. The government did not accept the petition or act to bring Jobs to Jarrow.

Preparations for war


~From september the first the government 3 million children were evacuated from cities likley to be bombed. Although many returned home during the phoney war.
~Other prepatations included air raid shelters and the blackout.
~From May 1940, the Home Guard was trained to fight a German invasion

Operation Dynamo (Dunkirk)

May 1940 - june 1940

The BEF was forced to retreat from the Geramn Blitzkrieg and evacuate from Dunkirk.
The government asked owners to small boats to go to Dunkirk to help the Navy evacuate soldiers; over 338'000 troops were rescued. Dunklirk meant that Britain still had an army to fight the Germans. Churchill knew morale was essential if Britain was to survive the war. He often referred to 'Dunkirk spirit'

France Surrenders

22 june 1940

France surrendered to Germany.

BOB - coastal attacks

july 19 1940 - august 12 1940

Luftwaffe attacks on British coast, especially RAF radar stations.

BOB - airfield attacks

13 august 1940 - 6 september 1940

Luftwaffe attacks British airfields.

The Blitz

7 september 1940 - May 1941

~London and many other cities were targeted. Civilians targeted so that the public would want to surrender.
~43'000 civilians killed and 2 million made homeless. However public support for Churchill and the war continued.
~From 1944-45, new weapons were used: the V1 and V2 rockets.
~The V1s and V2s killed about 9000 people and were terrifying. But many failed to reach Britain at all.

BOB - Blitz

7 september 1940 - 15 september 1940

Luftwaffe thinks RAF is beaten and attacks London - start of the Blitz

BOB - invasion called off

15 september 1940

With the Luftwaffe defeated, Hitler calls off the invasion of Britain.

womens conscription

december 1941

Unmarried Women aged 20-30 were conscripted: they could choose between the armed services, civil defense or industry.



An education act gave free education up to 14



1945 - Family allowances act.
5s a week for each child after the first.



From 1945 onwards the government set up government building schemes to provide work



New Towns Act
~17 new towns built in England and 4 towns (Crawley, Peterbourgh, Northampton and Warrington) enlarged hugely.
~ 5 new towns built in Scotland, 1 in Wales.
~ Huge local authority house-building programme: by September 1948 , 750'000 new homes built (The amount destroyed in the War)



National Health Services act (NHS)
Free medical dental and eye care for all. Many doctors objected to this.



National assistance act
~Poor law and earlier benefits abolished.
~National Assistance boards set up to provide government help to homeless, disabled and mentally ill.



National insurance act
~Workers pay 4s 11d into the national insurance scheme.
~Employers also contribute.
~The government provides unemployment maternity and sickness benefit and old age pensions.



NHS Act: charges on prescriptions.



This second act gave free education up to 15