Clement attleehe was leader of the Labor Party from 1935 to 1955, and served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1945 to 1951. As Prime Minister, he expanded and improved social services and the public sector in post-war Britain, creating the National Service of Health and nationalizing the main industries and public services. The Attlee government also presided over the decolonization of India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon, and Jordan, and saw the creation of the state of Israel following the British withdrawal from Palestine.
Clement attlee, was born on January 3, 1883, in London, into a middle-class family. He studied at the University of Oxford and trained as a lawyer. He then went on to manage Haileybury House, a youth charity in Limehouse, East London. This experience clearly had a profound impact onAttlee, whose political views were shaped by the poverty he witnessed in London’s East End, and in 1908 he joined the Independent Labor Party. Following the advent of World War I, he applied for a Commission and served as a Captain. His reputation as an effective and efficient leader earned him a promotion to the rank of Major, a title that would accompany him well beyond his military life.
Returning from the war,AttleeHe passed into politics, becoming Mayor of Stepney in 1919 and MP for Limehouse in 1922. He continued to rise within the Labor Party, and was elected its leader in 1935, following the resignation of George Lansbury.
His period as Prime Minister was one of intense activity. The notoriously outspoken and relatively calm man, however, was very adept at swift and decisive action. His leadership style was apparently collective, but once the prime minister allowed his cabinet to express its views, he quickly made decisions with military precision. As a result, virtually all of the promises in the Labor manifesto were carried out underAttlee. Despite the fact that World War II effectively bankrupted Britain, it succeeded in creating the National Health Service, part of the Welfare State that sought to provide care. “from the cradle to the grave“to British citizens. In addition to this, many of Britain’s largest industries, such as coal mining, electricity and the railways, came under state control, despite recurring currency crises and shortages of food and resources so severe that rationing had to be maintained long after the war.
The time ofAttleeas Prime Minister he also witnessed intense foreign policy activity. He had great faith in Ernest Bevin, his foreign secretary, and together they oversaw the independence of India, American loans and “Marshall Aid” for the reconstruction of Great Britain and Western Europe, the Berlin Airlift and the commitment to Great Britain with the United Nations.
In the 1950 general election, Labor lost its majority, and by the time of its defeat in the 1951 general election, the Labor government had worked almost to exhaustion.AttleeHowever, he continued to lead the Labor Party until 1955 and died in 1967, aged 84.
Among his most important achievements are the National Health Service Act of 1946 that made health care free on the basis of citizenship and need rather than the payment of insurance fees or premiums.
With the National Insurance Act of 1946, he introduced social security, according to which people of working age had to pay a weekly contribution and, in return, were entitled to a wide range of benefits when they could no longer work.
With the Coal Industry Nationalization Act of 1946, the Electricity Act of 1947, and the Transportation Act of 1947, he nationalized the coal industry, electricity services, railways, and long-distance transportation.
The Children’s Act of 1948 established a comprehensive childcare service, reforming the services that provide care for disadvantaged and orphaned children.
He also promoted the National Parks and Country Access Act of 1949 allowing the creation of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales, granting the public rights of way and access to open land.
During his tenureAttleit nationalized a fifth of the British economy. More than one poll of academics has voted him the most successful British Prime Minister of all time.