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Britain in 1950

A look at the state of the islands immediately following the Second World War.

    In 1950 Britain spent 6.6 per cent of its GDP on defence: more than any major country except the Soviet Union. The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force were second in size and power only to the forces of the United States, and in 1952 Britain became the world's third nuclear power when it detonated an atomic bomb off the coast of Australia.

    Britain was a militarised country, yet until October 1951 it was governed by a Labour party traditionally opposed to militarism. The massive Labour majority at the 1945 general election was largely removed at the 1950 election, but support for Labour remained strong.

    The Conservative revival was helped by the collapse of the Liberal vote, the heating up of the Cold War (which increased government expenditure) and by growing frustration with the continuation of austerity and controls.

by Oui on Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 at 10:16:47 PM EST
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