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The Impact of the Second World War on British Society, 1939-1951

Subjects / History / Britain, 1902-1951

Price: £2.95 Duration: 35mins Full topic price: £4.95

The Second World War had an impact not only on British soldiers fighting in Europe, but also on the civilians living back in Great Britain. Between 1939 and 1951 the consequences of the war were felt by women, the elderly and children. Life in Great Britain was very difficult during the Second World War, and one reason for this was that the government needed to control many aspects of people's lives, including how much food they could eat, what clothes they could buy and where they could live. The government created new ministries which controlled how people acted and made decisions that were intended to keep them safer. There were some changes made during wartime that were rolled over into peacetime, such as rationing and the creation of the welfare state, which are examined in this title.

Author: Susan Edwards Publisher: GCSEPod®
Narrator: Peter McGowan ISBN: 978-1-84906-249-7
Video ISBN: 978-1-84906-749-2


  1. A Nation at War
  2. Austerity, Nationalisation and the Welfare State, 1945-51
  3. Propaganda and Entertainment
  4. Rationing and Censorship
  5. The Economic and Human Cost of the War, the Changing Role of Britain, and Plans for the Future
  6. The Economic Impact of the War and State Regulation of Industry, Agriculture and Transport
  7. The Impact of War on Women and Children
  8. Patterns of Immigration and Settlement in Britain after 1945

Exam Board Relevance

  • Edxcel
  • AQA
  • CEA
  • IGCSE (EdExcel)
  • OCR
  • SQA
  • WJEC
  • IGCSE (CiE)

Includes original GCSEPod image art. Additional pictorial images created by Damon Smith

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Curriculum and Exam Board Information

Key Issues



  • 'homes for all'
  • Attitudes of government and people to war
  • Britain's policy following the German invasion of Poland
  • Britain's policy following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia
  • British defence and rearmament plans, the expansion of radar and the R.A.F.
  • British reactions to German aggression in the 1930s: Austria
  • British reactions to German aggression in the 1930s: Rhineland
  • Criticisms of the Welfare State
  • Economic position of Wales and England in 1945
  • evacuation and rationing
  • evacuees and the host communities
  • government propaganda and ways of maintaining morale
  • homes for all'
  • How the role of the state changed as a result of the Second World War
  • Initial responses of working people to industrialisation
  • National Assistance Board, 1949
  • National Health Service, 1946
  • National Insurance Act, 1946
  • Nationalisation of key industries, 1945-1951
  • nature and extent of nationalisation
  • new educational opportunities
  • New Towns Act, 1946
  • planning for peace: the Beveridge Report and the 1944 Education Act
  • reactions of people to Labour policies
  • the 1945 general election
  • the Blitz and bombing of Welsh and English cities
  • the British policy of appeasement: Chamberlain and the Munich Agreement
  • The Butler Act and changes in education, 1944-1951
  • the contribution of women to the war effort
  • the extent of British preparedness for war in 1939
  • the ideals of the Labour Party
  • the impact of conscription on the work force
  • the implementation of the Beveridge Report
  • the leadership of Attlee
  • the role of Churchill as war leader
  • the Welfare State: the National Health Service and the role of Bevan


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