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The People’s PeaceBritish History 1945-1989$
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Kenneth O. Morgan

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198227649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227649.001.0001

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The Stagnant Society 1961–1964

The Stagnant Society 1961–1964

(p.196) (p.197) 6 The Stagnant Society 1961–1964
The People’s Peace

Kenneth O Morgan

Oxford University Press

Rising social discontent based on a perception of loss of status and internal decay triggered a series of reactions against middle-class Tory capitalism, the government's inefficiencies, and social conservatism which was manifested in the period's literature and film. Social tension arising from the influx of immigrants, racial problems, the rise of Welsh and Scottish nationalism, and the rebellious youth movement started to manifest. This combined with low economic growth, a declining return on investments, and a balance-of-payment crisis forced the government to adopt disinflationary policies including the ‘pay pause’ wage scheme, bank rate increases, monetary tightening, and indirect taxes. However, this failed to engineer an upturn and balance-of-payment issues continued to haunt the administration. A deterioration in Anglo–American relations was exacerbated by the nuclear missiles issue and combined with Britain's rebuffed entry into the European Common Market seriously damaged the Conservative Party's chances of winning the 1964 elections.

Keywords:   Britain, European Common Market, Conservative Party, Tory capitalism, balance-of-payment crisis, pay pause wage scheme, Welsh nationalism, Scottish nationalism, youth movement

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