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Word Wars and Social Security


  • Science made man’s life easy but it also paved way for disasters in highest magnitudes.

  • In first quarter of the 20th Century, the First World War was fought and it brought world about the holocaust of innumerable human lives and paralysed the normal life of people all over the world.

  • After the World War I in 1918, Woodrow Wilson, the President of U.S.A helped in establishing The League of Nations.


  • It was hoped that world peace might be maintained with such an organisation (League of Nations) but later 20 years again a World War broke and lasted for 6 years.

  • World War II came to an end by 1945. Then the United Nations Organisation (U.N.O) was established.

  • Second World War was known as a war of liberation because it brought centuries-old colonial rule to an end.

  • Many nations were given their independence, this made the democratic age appear in the world.


Social leveling up:

  • After I World War, the class differentiation was not so acute, because of the soldiers from different social ranks sharing the same camp.

  • The rich lost their social and political leadership.

  • The mass production of clothes was also a reason for this social leveling.

  • Fashions of rich were followed by all in common.

  • The Universities became a place for all class people sons not just for the rich and middle classes.


  • Women- Their wears no longer covered feminine charms. Petticoats, ankle-length skirts, transparent intimate wears, skirts reaching only up to knees were brought into fashion.

  • Men- They wore Oxford bags, a shapeless balloon like trousers which practically covered the entire shoe.

Domestic works:

  • Women started to go to works like men, especially working class women entered factories and offices rather than being maids. This made the wives of the rich get into troubles.

People’s Thoughts and Life Style:

  • Lassiez-faire was given up and nationalisation came to practice.

  • The Bank of England was taken from 17,000 stocks and was put under the control of a Board of Governors appointed by the Government.

  • Coal, gas, wireless and air transport was brought under Government.

  • Agricultural methods, marketing, establishment of factories and the supply of raw materials were brought under the State control.

  • All these steps were made to abolish poverty from the country.

Social Security and Welfare:

  • There was a general election after war in 1945, the Labour Government came to power, Clement Attlee became the Prime Minister with that the government passed a lot of acts to ensure social security and welfare.

  • The Family Allowance Act was given to families with two or more children of school-going age.

  • The National Insurance Act was passed in 1946, this raised the contributions of workers and employers. It also increased the retirement pensions.

  • The National Health Service Act gave people free medical help except for optical and dental treatments.

  • The National Assistance Act supplemented the income of needy families. More poor families were given educational facilities.

  • In 1950, the Conservative Government came to power, though they followed the Acts passed by the Labour Government.

  • Under the leadership of Anthony Eden, the government passed the Slum Clearance Scheme.

  • The Macmillan Ministry set up the Housing Corporation.

  • This made England to become a welfare state.


Social History of England by Louise Creighton

An Introduction to the Social History of England by A.G.Xavier

A Short History of Social Life in England by M B Synge

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