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The People’s PeaceBritish History 1945-1989$
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Kenneth O. Morgan

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198227649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227649.001.0001

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The Years of Discontent 1977–1979

The Years of Discontent 1977–1979

(p.397) 11 The Years of Discontent 1977–1979
The People’s Peace

Kenneth O Morgan

Oxford University Press

The new Prime Minister ushered Britain to a period of modest economic growth and relative social tranquillity, despite the impact of the protracted oil crisis and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cuts. James Callaghan promoted improvements of standards in education, endeavoured to establish friendlier relations with Europe and the United States, and engineered a pact with the Liberal Party. A modest economic upturn was created through IMF involvement and the profitability of the North Sea oilfields which made Britain a major oil producer. Declining inflation, a positive BOP, and a stable pound helped restore market confidence in Britain's economy. This period of recovery ended with the ‘winter of discontent,’ during which deteriorating industrial relations sparked a series of strikes that paralyzed the nation and from which the Callaghan regime never recovered. Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party won the next election and were left with the task of redirecting the future of the country.

Keywords:   James Callaghan, oil crisis, International Monetary Fund, Europe, United States, Britain, Liberal Party, Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Party, winter of discontent

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