In the first enquiry of our course, we specifically consider the different nature of change and continuity in Britain during a period ostensibly characterised as one of continued Conservative political dominance. Not all change is the same. Neither is all continuity. Students need a language to articulate this complexity and in this enquiry they are provided with it.

Between 1951 and 1964, Britain was ruled by successive Conservative Governments. Instead in exploring important first order concepts – such as race, colonialism, sexuality, gender, stop-go economics, class, deference, the establishment – we are invited to consider the extent to which more hidden traces of change can be identified in the sources and events of the time. Although many of the events covered – such as the Suez Crisis, the Notting Hill riots and the Profumo Affair – can be seen as expositions of a changing or ‘modernising’ Britain – we use our first-order concepts to ask what type of change this was. Was it a transformation or merely a revision? What survived and what stabilised? Were there any advances and did anything worsen? In short, How far was Modern Britain being remade in this period and what was the pace and extent of that change?

Lesson List

  1. Why were the Conservatives able to dominate for thirteen years?
  2. Did Britain’s post-war economy really boom?
  3. Did British society remain largely unchanged by 1964?
  4. Had Britain really ‘lost an empire but failed to find a role’ by 1964?



Reading Pack

  • Political and Economic Reading Pack
  • Social History Reading Pack
  • Britain and the World Reading Pack

Source Pack

  • Political and Economic Source Pack
  • Social History Source Pack
  • Britain and the World Source Pack

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