LIFE IN THE 1960S OF ENGLAND – PART 1

The Sixties of England was a decade of tremendous change in international, social, and cultural affairs. It was a decade in which man walked on the moon and the first-ever human heart transplant was carried out. Human life seemed to reach the very pinnacle of civilization. After a long time, England emerged into a period of remarkable stability and prosperity. The two world wars had caused havoc in Great Britain. The forties and fifties witnessed a crippled country slowly limping back to health. After facing so many trials, the people of Britain were finding life easier in the sixties. The society of the late sixties was relatively freewheeling and differed remarkably from the strait-leaded and traditionalist society of the forties and fifties.

What is the Political,Social and Economic life in 1960s of England?

In 1964, Harold Wilson became the Prime Minister, ending thirteen years of conservative rule. The new Prime Minister promised a ‘classes dynamic New Britain’. The Labour Party remained in power till 1970. Trade unions were becoming quite active in the sixties and would dominate politics in the seventies.

The sixties witnessed a new attitude towards class. One cannot call the decade’s society completely ‘classless’, but the differences between the upper and lower classes were beginning to become almost indistinguishable. The working class enjoyed increased spending power in a way that it had never done before. This was due to their high wages. Back in 1951, the average weekly earnings of men over twenty-one were £8.20; by 1968, the figure had jumped to £23 per week. Though there was an increase in the price of food and other necessities, the cost of small cars, television sets, and washing machines was much lower. By 1961, nearly 75 percent of homes in Great Britain had television sets. Next in popularity were refrigerators and washing machines.

A new kind of social divide was emerging in the sixties. Until1950, America was the preferred new home for migrant west Indians. But in 1952, the USA banned West Indian immigration. As a result, they turned to Britain. The new immigrants settled in the poor sections of London. Violent race riots broke out between the local whites and the West Indian Immigrants.

What is the education system of 1960s of England?

An important aspect of the liberation of the 1960s was the major progress in the sphere of higher education. Colleges devoted to the study of art and design were founded. Teacher Training colleges were upgraded and their importance was recognized. Certain colleges of higher technology became full universities, and new universities, such as the universities of Sussex, York, and Kent, were created. Primary Schools also underwent a metamorphosis. The primary school curriculum, which was under the shadow of Victorian values, was made more flexible and enjoyable. For a long time, the main focus of primary education was teaching the three R’s (‘reading,[w]riting and [a]rithmetic’) to little children. In 1964, the Schools Council for Curriculum and Examinations was set up. It was this council that brought about several innovations to make primary education imaginative and imaginable.

Will be continued……

Published by Ayisha Shabana. M