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A description of the world having changed much from the way it was in 1900

Print this page Changing population Britain and the British have changed profoundly since 1945. A principal driver of change has been a major growth in population, matched by rapidly rising expectations about lifestyle.

Demands for mobility cars and space houses have ensured the transfer of land from agriculture and natural landscape to roads and housing, with multiple consequences for the environment and for the human experience.

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Large-scale immigration has made the population ethnically far more diverse, with important cultural consequences. The composition of the population has undergone a marked transformation, due primarily to advances in medicine.

In line with a general trend around the developed world, life expectancy has risen greatly for both men and women. This has meant that the average age has risen, a process accentuated by the extent to which the birth rate has remained static. Furthermore, large-scale immigration, particularly from the West Indies and South Asia, but also from other areas such as Eastern Europe, has made the population ethnically far more diverse, with important cultural consequences.

In 1970 there were about 375,000 Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in Britain. By 1993 the figure was about 1,620,000, with the rise in the number of Muslims being particularly pronounced. Top Moral codes Social and cultural change has also reflected the extent to which the population has become more individualistic and less deferential.

The moral code that prevailed in 1945 broke down, a process formalised by legal changes in the 1960s. Abortion and homosexuality became legal, capital punishment was abolished, and measures were taken to improve the position of women.

  • Containing infection Cleanliness and hygiene are key weapons in preventing the spread of infection in both army accommodation and military hospitals;
  • He tried to measure physical characteristics of noblemen and created a laboratory to measure their reaction time and other physical and sensory qualities;
  • Increased foreign travel and intermarriage were other aspects of a relatively un-xenophobic and continually-changing society - trends that continue to this day;
  • Shopping patterns also reflected social trends in other respects with, for example, a major change in the diet, as red meat declined in relative importance, while lighter meats, fish and vegetarianism all enjoyed greater popularity;
  • Industrialisation had affected consumption and commerce as much as industry, leisure as much as work;
  • Karl Marx exaggerated when he saw British society of the mid 19th century riven along class lines.

By the 1990s, only one in seven Britons was an active member of a Christian church. These changes were linked to shifts in religious practice. By the 1990s, only one in seven Britons was an active member of a Christian church, although more claimed to be believers. But for most believers, formal expressions of faith became less important. The failure in the 1990s of the heavily church-backed 'Keep Sunday Special' campaign to prevent shops from opening on the sabbath confirmed the general trend.

More generally, the authority of age and experience were overthrown and, in their place, came an emphasis on youth and novelty. This was seen in politics with, for example, the lowering of the voting age to 18; in the economy, with the rise of the youth consumer; and in culture, with marked changes in popular music.

Overview: Britain from 1945 onwards

The 1960s destroyed a cultural continuity that had lasted since the Victorian period. Alongside the apparent continuity in popular culture of works such as the James Bond films, the novels of Dick Francis and the radio soap 'The Archers', there were also important shifts, for example in popular music. In the 1960s, pop music - not least that of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones - gave Britain a very different feel in the world to that it had enjoyed as the world's predominant empire.

The Liverpool Sound, the Swinging Sixties, and the London of Carnaby Street created an image far removed from that of 1956 when, in a last major flourish of imperial power, Britain had unsuccessfully sought to intimidate Egypt in the Suez Crisis. This empire had largely been granted independence by 1964, beginning with independence for India and Pakistan in 1947.

A war was successfully fought with Argentina in 1982 when the latter attacked the Falkland Islands, a colony inhabited by British settlers since 1833. The most populous of Britain's remaining colonies, Hong Kong, was only handed over to China in 1997.

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Britain became an active member of international organisations, not least the United Nations. As empire receded fast, Britain seemed a diminished power. Nonetheless, it became the third state in the world to gain the atom bomb in1952, followed by the hydrogen bomb in 1957. Defence in the post-war era largely consisted of the protection of Western Europe against the threat of Soviet invasion, and Britain played a key role in this confrontation which became known as the Cold War.

  1. These contain most local government deposits from medieval times, Parish records, estate papers, business records, maps and plans and much more of interest and use in studying the Victorian period. Increased foreign travel and intermarriage were other aspects of a relatively un-xenophobic and continually-changing society - trends that continue to this day.
  2. Developments in wound shock treatment in the First World War - from the use of saline, through direct donor-to-patient blood transfusion and the development of techniques to store blood - have helped shape much of modern practise.
  3. Second and third generations of industrial dynasties were often sent for classical training at public schools and sought careers in law or imperial administration rather than in business. Industrialisation had affected consumption and commerce as much as industry, leisure as much as work.

Britain became an active member of international organisations, not least the United Nations, of which it was a founder member and held a permanent seat on the Security Council. Closer to home, troops were deployed in Northern Ireland from 1969 in response to an outbreak of sectarian violence, which rapidly became a major terrorist challenge.

How has intelligence testing changed throughout history?

In the 1990s, a peaceful end to the 'Troubles' was negotiated, but tension continues. At times, Britain itself appeared to be going the same way, as entry into the European Economic Community EEC - later European Union EU - in 1973 led to a marked erosion of national sovereignty and to a transfer of powers to Europe. At the national level, government was controlled by the Labour Party 1945 - 1951, 1964 - 1970, 1974 - 1979 and 1997 onwards and its Conservative rival 1951 - 1964, 1970 - 1974, 1979 - 1997with no coalition ministries.

How did WW1 change the way we treat war injuries today?

The Labour and Conservative parties shared major overlaps in policy. These two parties shared major overlaps in policy throughout the post-war period, for example in maintaining free health care at the point of delivery - the basis of the National Health Service.

  • Numerous questions remain about not just how to measure intelligence but also how we improve intelligence and prevent our cognitive abilities from declining as we get older;
  • Blood was kept on ice for up to 28 days and then transported to casualty clearing stations for use in life-saving surgery where it was needed most;
  • Such firms drew upon trusted relatives and friends often within religious groupings;
  • It did not reach more than three per cent per annum until well into the Victorian period and then decelerated again from the third quarter of the 19th century.

But there were also major contrasts, particularly between 1979 and 1990 when Margaret Thatcher held power as the country's first female prime minister. The Conservatives tended to favour individual liberties and low taxation, while Labour preferred collectivist solutions and were therefore happier to advocate a major role for the state.

The Workshop of the World

This was particularly evident in Labour 's support for the nationalisation of major parts of the economy during their pre-1979 governments. Most, in turn, were denationalised again under the Conservatives between 1979 and 1997. Top Manufacturing Uncertain public policy in the post-war period played a role in the marked relative decline of the British economy, which was particularly pronounced in the field of manufacturing.

This contributed to a sense of national malaise in the 1970s, which also owed much to very high inflation and to a sense that the country had become ungovernable, as strikes by coal miners led to the failure of government policies on wages.

Spending became a major expression of identity and indeed a significant activity in leisure time. Manufacturing decline was matched by the rise in the service sector, resulting in a major change for many in the experience of work. This rise was linked to a growth in consumerism that also owed something to an extension of borrowing to more of the population. The move to 24-hour shopping and the abolition of restrictions on Sunday trading were symptomatic of this shift. Shopping patterns also reflected social trends in other respects with, for example, a major change in the diet, as red meat declined in relative importance, while lighter meats, fish and vegetarianism all enjoyed greater popularity.

So too did products and dishes from around the world, reflecting the extent to which the British had become less parochial and readier to adopt an open attitude to non-British influences. Increased foreign travel and intermarriage were other aspects of a relatively un-xenophobic and continually-changing society - trends that continue to this day.