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2. The Years of Opposition, 1951-64
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the transformation of the Labour Party during its thirteen years in opposition between 1951 and 1964. In particular, we focus on: (i) the emergence of the centre-right strand of the Labour Party in the 1950s, culminating in the leadership of Hugh Gaitskell in 1955; (ii) the conflict between the left and centre-right wings of the Labour Party regarding the direction of Labour’s social and economic policy; (iii) the conflict between the left and centre-right wings of the Labour Party regarding Britain’s relationship with the USA.
In this course, Professor John Callaghan (University of Salford) explores the history of the Labour Party from 1945 to the present day. In the first module, we think about the Labour government under Clement Attlee between 1945-51. In the second, we consider the conflicts which emerged between Labour’s ‘left’ and ‘centre-right’ during its years in opposition between 1951 and 1964. In the third module, we think about Labour’s return to power under Harold Wilson in 1964, before turning in the fourth module to explore the growth of the leftist challenge in the 1970s and Labour’s changing relationship with the trade unions. In the final two modules, we consider the leadership of Tony Blair and New Labour, thinking firstly about the reasons for Blair’s electoral success and his domestic policies, before considering how New Labour’s complex legacy has shaped the Labour Party since 2007.
John Callaghan is Professor of Politics and Contemporary History and the University of Salford, specialising in the history of the British Labour Party, the history of socialism and political theory. His recent publications include Communism in Britain: A Documentary History (2011) and British Labour and Foreign Policy: A History (2007).
Cite this Lecture
Callaghan, J. (2019, December 20). The Labour Party, 1945-Present - The Years of Opposition, 1951-64 [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-labour-party-1945-present/the-years-of-opposition-1951-64
Callaghan, J. "The Labour Party, 1945-Present – The Years of Opposition, 1951-64." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Dec 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/the-labour-party-1945-present/the-years-of-opposition-1951-64