British and Public Policy 1776-1939: An Economic, Social and Political Perspective

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Cambridge University Press, 1983 - 431 strani
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The evolution of British public policy through the industrial revolution, the Victorian age and the inter-war years to 1939 is an essential element of British history. It is also a necessary preliminary to the understanding of today's policy choices as they confront governments. It has not previously been viewed as a totality, embodying the economic aspects, both macro and micro, together with social and welfare provision and the patterns of ideas affecting both. Sydney Checkland's treatment, first published in 1983, embraces all these aspects, and is set within the changing configuration of class and politics as the franchise extended. As successive governments responded to these challenges they sought to improve the operation of the market economy and to ease the social pressures that it generated. They had to find an acceptable level of consent to what they were doing; this often involved limiting the choices of individuals and of groups. Of the latter, in large-scale business the trade unions were an increasing problem. Reciprocally these interests tried both to limit the actions of governments as these affected themselves and, indeed, to influence the general course of policy. Account is taken of the fact that Britain was not one nation, but four, each with its perspective and aspirations. The pattern increases in complexity with the passage of time, so that the discussion of the First World War and the troubled decades of the twenties and thirties comprise the largest section of the book.

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Introduction
1
The state and the protoindustrial economy of Britain
11
Core and periphery England Wales Scotland and Ireland
32
Social values and social policy
42
The trend to economic laissezfaire
61
The social action equation and the Zeitgeist
82
The market triumphant
115
The state and the claims of labour
127
Welfare and the social democratic urge
227
The policy imperatives of war the reconstruction debate and the dismantlement of control 191421
261
The strains of nationalism Wales Scotland and Ireland
277
The advent of peacetime macroeconomic management
282
Micromanagement the restructuring of industry and agriculture the regions
312
Micromanagement the public sector
331
The business response
340
The political and industrial attitudes of labour
347

The advance of social collectivism
135
The continued freedom of the market mechanism the stateinduced changes in its operating conditions
163
Land and rule in England Wales Scotland and Ireland
185
The emergence of a public sector chiefly at the local government level
196
The assertion of the power of labour in industry and politics
204
The welfare share its elements and adequacy
370
Public policy by 1939
385
Bibliography
400
Index
413
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