Course overview

Is the reputation of the interwar period as one of a grim period of mass unemployment and the ‘guilty men’ who failed to prepare adequately for the second world war deserved? This period sees Britain struggling to come to terms with the economic realities of the post war world. Domestically the Government faces the challenges posed by the General Strike, increased unemployment and the depression. Internationally the rise of extremist regimes causes problems for governments in Britain determined at all costs to avoid the carnage of a further war. How did people see things at the time, how much leeway did the government have in its decisions and is the common perception of the period as ‘grim’ accurate? Join the class to find out more.

Course description

The initial optimism for a better world and social change at the end of the first world war collapsed quickly under the weight of economic reality. The government struggled to understand and respond effectively to the new post war challenges.

However, the period saw the construction of millions of houses in both the public and private sector and the setting up of countless new industries. It was also the period when women won the vote and started to take an increasingly active role at work and in public life.

How far is our perception of the period coloured by the second world war which followed. Join us to revisit the world of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

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