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    • fileName "History key words - Access to History textbook - Glossary"
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    • 1921 Treaty
    • The Anglo-Irish agreement that had partitioned the island of Ireland between an independent south and Northern Ireland (loosely referred to as Ulster) which remained part of the UK
  1. 9/11
    The American formulation for the date 11th September 2001
  2. Adam Smith Institute
    A Conservative "think-tank", which challenged the idea that the state should redistribute resources in society by taxing the rich and providing for the poor; it argued that the free play of market forces was the best way of fulfilling people's needs
  3. Aeneid
    An epic poem by the Roman writer Virgil (70-19BC)
  4. Al-Qaeda
    The Islamic terrorist organisation which organised the 9/11 attacks
  5. Apartheid
    In theory, the notion of separate and equal development for different racial groups in South Africa; in practice, the subjection of other races to white rule.
  6. Appeasement
    The policy followed by the British government between 1935 and 1939 of trying to avoid war by accepting German and Italian territorial demands.
  7. Arms Race
    In 1938 US President Reagan announced the development of a strategic defence initiative (popularly known as "Star Wars") which when fully operational would give the USA complete protection against missile attack. This may have been exaggeration but it convinced the USSR that it could no longer keep pace with the West.
  8. Aswan Dam
    A dam on the Nile river that was intended to modernise Egypt by providing a huge supply of hydroelectric power
  9. Austerity
    Describes the hard times the British experienced in the late 1940s. In addition to the restrictions and rationing imposed on them, people had to endure a particularly severe winter in 1946-1947 which exhausted coal stocks and led to fuel shortages and regilar and dispiriting cuts in domestic and industrial electricity supplies.
  10. B Specials
    A wholly Protestant part of Northern Ireland's reserve police force, seen by many as a Protestant army.
  11. Balance of payments
    The equilibrium between the cost of imports and the profits from exports. When the cost of imports outweighs the income from exports, financial crisis follows.
  12. Battle of Orgreave
    In 1984, strikers tried to prevent coke lorries leaving British Steel coking plant in Orgreave, South Yorkshire. An estimated 6000 pickets struggled for hours against some 5000-8000 police before finally being overcome. Ninety-three arrests were made, and 51 strikers and 72 policemen were injured.
  13. Bevanites
    Followers of Aneurin Bevan, a hero of the left. Interestingly, Bevan was not always as radical as his followers. For example, at the 1957 Labour Party conference, he rejected unilateralism as a policy, describing it as an "emotönal spasm"
  14. Birmingham pub bombings
    On 21st November 1974, in separate explosions in two public houses in Birmingham's city centre, 21 people were killed and 180 seriously injured.
  15. Block vote
    Labour Party procedures allowed individual trade union leaders to cast their conference votes on behalf of all the members of their union, which could number millions.
  16. BNP
    British National Party. An extremist, racist party.
  17. Broad Church
    Containing many conflicting viewpoints
  18. Capitalism
    The predominant economic system in the Western world by which individuals and companies trade and invest for private profit.
  19. Cash for honours
    There were various accusations during the Blair years that the government was engaged in giving out honours and peerages to wealthy donors in return for cash donations to the Labour Party. A long police inquiry eventually concluded in 2007 that there was insufficient evidence to warrant prosecutions.
  20. CBI
    Confederation of British Industry. Represented Britain's leading manufacturers and industrialists. Officially it was politically neutral, but it tended to side with the Conservatives.
  21. CDS
    Campaign for Democratic Socialism. A number of CDS members went on to break from Labour in 1981 and form a new political party, the Social Democratic Party.
  22. Census
    An official recording of population figures, held every 10 years in the first year of the decade.
  23. City academies
    A plan, started in 2004, to create by 2010 over 200 special schools to replace the failed comprehensives in urban areas
  24. City-orientated
    Relating to the money markets in London's international financial centre, known as "the City"
  25. Client state
    A society in which a significant number of the population work directly for the government or its agencies
  26. CND
    Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Founded in 1958 to agitate for unilateral nuclear disarmament, it was dominated from the first by left wingers
  27. COHSE
    Confederation of Health Service Employees
  28. Cold War
    The period of strained relations over the period 1945-1991 between the Soviet Union and its allies and the Western nations led by the USA
  29. Collectivism
    The people and the state acting together with a common sense of purpose, which necessarily meant a restriction on individual rights.
  30. Common market
    A trading system between equal states with the minimum of regulation
  31. Commonwealth Immigrants Act
    Attempted to limit immigration by creating a voucher scheme which restricted the right of entry to those who actually had jobs to go to
  32. Consensus
    Common agreement between the parties on major issues
  33. Conviction politican
    Someone with strong opinions who acts out of principle rather than political expediency
  34. Countryside Alliance
    An amalgram of landowners, land workers, vets, riding schools and those involved in the commercial side of fox hunting.
  35. Cuban missile crisis
    In October 1962, the USA, having discovered that Soviet nuclear missiles were being installed on the island of Cuba, ordered their removal. After days of acute tension, the Soviet Union gave away and ordered their dismantling and withdrawal
  36. Decommissioning
    The giving up of weapons
  37. Deficit budgets
    Occur when a government spends more than it raises in revenue
  38. Democratic deficit
    The gap between democratic intenions and their realisation
  39. Demography
    Population analysis
  40. Depression
    The period of industrial decline that had witnessed high unemployment and social distress in many areas of Britain and in the 1930s
  41. Devaluation
    Reducing the value of the pound against the dollar with the principal aim of making it easier to sell British goods abroad since they would be cheaper in real terms
  42. Devolution
    Granting to Wales and Scotland a considerable degree of control over their own affairs by the creation of a separate Parliament or national assembly. This form of home rule stopped short of complete independence from the UK
  43. Diplock Courts
    Set up in Northern Ireland in 1972 to hear cases without a jury, the aim being to avoid the problem of jury members being intimidated
  44. Displacement theory
    The process by which the inability to act successfully in one area is compensated for by overzealous action in another
  45. Dollar gap
    Since the pound was weaker than the dollar, the goods that britain desperately needed from Northern America had to be paid for in dollars.
  46. DUP
    Democratic Unionist Party, which had broken away from the Official Unionist Party in 1971
  47. East of Suez
    A traditional shorthand way of referring to Britain's mnilitary and naval bases and commitments in the Middle East and Asia
  48. EFTA
    The European Free Trade Association formed by Britain, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and Denmark
  49. EHRC
    The Equality and Human Rights Commission, successor to the Commission for Racial Equality
  50. ERM
    Exchange rate mechanism. A precursor to monetary union within the EU
  51. Euro zone
    Those countries that gave up their individual currencies for the euro
  52. European dictators
    As Foreign Secretary between 1935 and 1938, Eden had developed a deep distrust of Germany's Adolf Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini
  53. Eurorebels
    A large group of Conservative MPs, openly led by Bill Cash, and supported by most of the party's Eurosceptics, who fought against the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty
  54. Eurosceptics
    Those who doubted that the UK's closer integration into Europe would serve British interests
  55. Extraparliamentary
    Not relying on conventional party politics
  56. Federation
    The essence of a federation is that the member states forgo a significant degree of individual sovereignty in order for the union of states to have effective executive power.
  57. "Fellow travellers"
    Crypto-Communists and Soviet sympathisers
  58. First past the post system
    The candidate with more votes than his nearest rival wins the seat, irrespective of whether he has an overall majority of the votes cast.
  59. "Five giants"
    A representation of the major ills afflicing post-war Britain. Want, to be ended by national insurance. Disease, to be ended by a comprehensive health service. Ignorance, to be ended by an effective education system. Squalor, to be ended by slum clearance and rehousing. Idleness, to be ended by full employment.
  60. Flying pickets
    Groups of union members ready to rush to areas where strikes had been called to add their weight in persuading workers not to go through factory gates
  61. Focus groups
    Representatives of a particular viewpoint who advise government on the policies it should follow. Such groups often represent only themselves rather than the wider public. An example is the lobby group ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) which, although small in number, was able to exert a disproportionate influence.
  62. Free market
    An economic system in which the forces of supply and deman are allowed to operate naturally without regulation by the government
  63. French Algeria
    Algeria, part of the French Empire, had a large Arab population most of whom supported the Algerian independence movement
  64. Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace
    Similar movements, which originated in North America, but quickly spread to Europe. They believed in direct action as a way of spreading their beliefs about the threat to the planet.
  65. GDP
    Gross Domestic product. The annual total value of goods produced and services provided in Britain
  66. Genocide
    The planned extermination of a people or a race
  67. Gerrymandering
    Manipulating constituency boundaries so as to leave Protestants in control
  68. Gestapo
    The notorious Nazi secret police that had terrorised Germany under Adolf Hitler, between 1933 and 1945
  69. GNP (History)
    Gross National product. The annual total value of goods produced and services provided by Britain at home and in trade with other countries
  70. GPs
    General Practitioners, family doctors
  71. Greenham Common
    Became the site of a womens peace camp which picketed the US base from 1981 to 2000, a graphic example of the extraparliamentary protests against government policy that were a feature of late twentieth-century politics
  72. Holocaust
    The murdering of six million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe
  73. Holocaust deniers
    Those who dispute that the Nazi murder of the Jews took place
  74. Hubris
    Punishment of arrogance
  75. Humiliation of France
    In a six week period in May and June 1940, France had been totally overwhelmed by German forces and forced to surrender and accept occupation
  76. IMF
    The International Monetary Fund. A scheme intended to prevent countries going bankrupt. It began operating in 1947 and by 1990 had been joined by over 150 countries. Each of the member states deposited into a contral fund from which is could then draw in time of need
  77. Imperial Guilt
    The feeling among the ex-colonial powers that their previous possession of colonies disqualified them from taking direct action in African affairs.
  78. Independent nuclear deterrent
    In 1947, to the anger of its left wing, the Labour government initiated a research programme that led to the denotation of a British atom bomb in 1952 and a hydrogen bomb in 1957
  79. Inflation
    A decline in the purchasing power of money, which meant Britain had to spend more dollars to buy its imports
  80. Infrastructure
    The interlocking systems and installations which enable a nations industrial economy to operate, e.g. transport, power supply, sewerage and communications
  81. INLA
    The irish National liberation Army, whose republicanism was part of its programme for Marxist world revolution
  82. Interest Rates
    Used to raise of lower the cost of borrowing money, thus retarding or stimulating economic activity
  83. Invisible Exports
    The sale of financial and insurance services to foreign buyers, traditionally one of Britains major sources of income from abroad
  84. IRA
    The Irish Republican Army. Dedicated to the creation through violence of an all-Ireland republic. Its political front was Sinn Fein, a legitimate political party. At the end of the 1969, the movement split into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA.
  85. Israel
    In 1948, in the face of the underlying hatred of its Arab neighbours, Israel became a sovereign Jewish state, taking most of the territory known as Palestine.
  86. Jihadists
    Self-proclaimed warriors in the defence of Islam
  87. Joint Intelligence Committee
    The government body principally responsible for providing ministers with national security information
  88. Kenya
    Between 1952 and 1960, clashes between British forces and Kenyan nationalists resulted in the death of 13,000 native Kenyans and 100 Europeans
  89. Kings Speech
    The formal addresss delivered by the monarch at the beginning of each parliamentary year settng out the governments policies
  90. Korean War
    US dominated UN armies resisted the takeover of South Korea by the Chinese backed Communists of North Korea from 1950 to 1953. Britain suffered the loss of 1788 servicemen, with another 2498 being wounded
  91. Labour Left
    A significant number of Labour MPs, some of whom were Marxists, were strongly sympathetic towards the Soviet Union. At this stage, the full horrors of Stalins regime had yet to be revealed, so it was still possible to believe that the USSR was a model socialist state
  92. "Land fit for heroes"
    Term used by Lloyd Georges wartime government of 1916-1918, when promising to reward the British people for their heroic efforts
  93. Lib-Lab pact
    A deal made by James Callaghan and David Steel in MArch 1977, committing the Liberals to vote with the government in the Commons in return for the governments agreement to consult the Liberals on key issues. The pact lapsed in the autumn of 1978
  94. Life expectancy
    The remaining number of years an individual is likely to live after a given age.
  95. Londonderry
    A disputed place name; Republicans called it Derry
  96. Loyalist
    Anti-republican, pro-unionist
  97. Mahatma
    Great Soul
  98. Majority Voting
    A system that attracted federalists since it enabled contentious resolutions to be passed without being blocked by a member state using its individual veto
  99. Market forces
    The natural laws of supply and demand operating without interference by government
  100. Means test
    In the pre-war period, to qualify for dole or relief, individuals or families had to give precise details of all the money they had coming in
  101. Militant Tendency
    A Marxist group founded in 1964 with the aim of infiltrating Labour and forcing revolutionary policies on it. It had considerable success at local level, becoming a dominant force in the 1970s and 1980s in the councils of Merseyside
  102. Mod cons
    Short for mordern conveniences, e.g. central heating, and household accessories such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, radios and TVs
  103. Mods and rockers
    Mods drove motor scooters and were rather more smartly dressed than rockers, who rode proper motorbikes; their pre-arranged fights usually took place in seaside resorts on bank holidays
  104. Mons and Dunkirk
    Celebrated occasions in the First and Second World Wars when British forces recovered from initial defeats to win the final military struggle
  105. Nationalisation
    Clause IV of the Labour Partys constitution committeed it to achieving "the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange". In practice, common ownership on public control meant government control.
  106. NATO
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. A defensive alliance forced in 1949 by 10 Western European countries as a safeguard against Soviet expansion. The USA eagerly accepted the invitation to join.
  107. Natural change
    The net difference between the number of deaths and the number of births
  108. NCB
    The National Coal Board, the body with overall responsibility for running the industry.
  109. Net migration
    The net different between the number who left Britain and those who entered it.
  110. New Commonwealth
    Largely West Indians, Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis
  111. New Labour
    Began as a slogan at the 1994 Labour Party conference, the first held with Tony Blair as leader, and become the title by which the party was known from then on.
  112. New Right
    A broad conservative movement in the USA and Britain in the 1980s which combined an attack on Keynesian economics and growing state power with an emphasis on the need to maintain traditional social values
  113. Night of the Long Knives
    A deliberate over-dramatisation used by the press to compare Macmillans reshuffle with Hitlers massacre of his leading supporters in Germany in 1934
  114. No-go areas
    Regions in which the police are reluctant to persue enquiries because of the hostility and wall of silence they will meet
  115. North Sea oil
    This resource had come on tap in the late 1970s and turned Britain from a net importer to a net exporter of oil
  116. NUPE
    National Union of Public Employees
  117. Old Commonwealth
    Largely Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and South Africans
  118. OPEC
    Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Formed in 1961, this body came to represent all the leading oil-producing nations, including the strategically important Arab states of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya and Saudi Arabia
  119. Parliamentary Reform Act of 1949
    First introduced in 1947, this measure, which became law in 1949, reduced the delaying power of the House of Lords over a Commons' bill to two sessions and one year
  120. PEP
    Personal Equity Plan
  121. Poll tax
    A flat-rate levy to fund local services, to be paid by all adults resident in the local area, not just owners of property; introduced into Scotland in 1989 and into England and Wales in 1990
  122. Populist
    A way of appealing directly to ordinary people that bypasses normal party politics
  123. Poverty trap
    The dilemma facing the low paid; if they continued working they were penalised by being taxed, which reduced their net income to a level little higher than if they simply drew unemployment benefit
  124. Prevention of Terrorism Act
    Introduced in November 1974 to give the police and authorities considerably extended powers of search and arrest
  125. Prime Ministers Questions
    A weekly session when selected members of the House of Commons put direct questions to the Prime Minister
  126. Print Workers
    Until the 1980s, among the highest paid workers in British industry, they were reluctant to accept new work practices based on new technology since this would threaten their job security and high earnings
  127. Privatisation
    The selling of nationalised (government owned) concerns fully or in part to private buyers and investors
  128. Property-owning democracy
    A society in which as many people as possible are encouraged to become homeowners, an extension of the principle that the ownership of property is an essential component of democracy
  129. Proportional representation
    The allocation of seats to parties according to the number of votes they gain overall
  130. Protectionist
    Making non-common market goods uncompetitive by denying them entry or placing tariffs on them
  131. PSBR
    Public Sector Borrowing Requirement. The public sector includes the whole of national and local government activity and the nationalised industries. The cost of running these had to be met from government revenue. If the revenue is insufficient the difference is made up by borrowing. The gap between government revenue and government needs is known as the PSBR
  132. Psephologist
    An expert on election trends and voting patterns
  133. Puritanism
    An attitude that has religious roots but has become secularised. It is the view among certain people that because they find some forms of social behaviour distasteful they are entitled to prohibit others from engaging in them, even to the point of making the behaviour illegal.
  134. R&D
    Research and development. Economic research and development provide the means of industrial growth
  135. Reagan's America
    Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher shared a great respect and liking for each other. Reagan's presidency from 1980 to 1988 saw the USA follow economic policies which were very similar to Mrs Thatcher's
  136. Real Wages
    The purchasing power of earnings when set against prices. When prices are high money will buy less; when prices are low the same amount of money will buy more.
  137. Rebate
    The return to the UK of a proportion of its budgetary payment to the EU
  138. Respect
    Founded on 25th January 2004 in London as a socialist breakaway group from the Labour Party, its name represents the words Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism
  139. RUC
    Royal Ulster Constabulary. An almost exclusively Protestant armed police force. The Catholic population came to regard the RUC as a sectarian force whose main task was to coerce them and protect the Protestant political establishment.
  140. Run on sterling
    A catastrophic fall in Britains currency reserves caused by large withdrawals of deposits by international investors
  141. SAS
    Special Air Service, the crack anti-terrorisy unit of the British armed services
  142. Savings ratio
    The annual percentage of an individuals disposable income that is saved rather than spent
  143. Schuman Plan
    A scheme by which the European nations pooled their most productive resources - coal and steel - in a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)
  144. Scottish Parliament
    Created in 1998 following a referendum in Scotland the previous year, in which, in a turnout of 60%, three quarters of the voters opted for a system in which Scotland, while remaining within the UK, would have its affairs run by a Scottish Parliament and a Scottish Executive with tax-raising powers
  145. Selsdon man
    An imaginary anti-Keynesian, pro-market individual.
  146. Shareholders
    Investors in companies or public utilities, such as electricity and gas
  147. Sleaze
    The term covered such activities as "cash for questions", the practice whereby, in return for payment, MPs asked questions in the Commons that were intended to promote the interests of particular commercial companies
  148. Smack of firm government
    Eden had an unfortunate habit, when emphasising a point, of smacking the palm of one hand with the back of the other. It was this that the press were mocking when they accused him of being irresolute as Prime Minister
  149. Social Chapter
    Sometimes referred to as the Social Charter, part of the Maastricht treaty, which committed EU member states to introduce extensive welfare schemes
  150. Social contract
    An agreement in 1972 between Wilson and Vic Feather, the TUC General Secretary, to the effect that when Labour was returned to power the unions would follow a wage restraint policy in return for the adoption of pro-worker industrial policies by the government
  151. Social reconstruction
    Shaping society so as to provide protection and opportunity for all its citizens
  152. Soviet bloc
    The countries of Eastern Europe, which were dominated by the Soviet Union
  153. Special relationship
    The term coined by Churchill in 1946 to describe the common values and perceptions that, he believed, made the USA and Britain natural allies
  154. Stagflation
    A compound word of stagnation and inflation. It referred to the situation in which industry declined but inflation still persisted, with the result that the economy suffered the worst of both worlds
  155. Stop-go
    When consumption and prices rose too quickly, the government put on the "brake" by increasing taxes and raising interest rates, thus making it more difficult to borrow money. When production and exports declined, the government pressed the "accelerator" by cutting taxes and lowering interest rates, thus making it easier to borrow money
  156. Stormont
    The building in Belfast which housed the Northern Ireland Parliament
  157. Subsidiarity
    The principle that in matters of special concern to a particular member state, that state should have the right to bypass European decisions
  158. Swinging sixties
    The 1960s saw the relaxing of many of the old taboos in regard to lifestyle and social behaviour; the music of the BEatles and the Rolling Stones, and the fashions of Londons Carnaby Street typified the youthful character of the age
  159. Taoiseach
    Gaelic for Prime Minister
  160. Teddy Boys
    Young men of the 1950s with a strong tendency to violence when gathered in numbers; they took their name from their style of dress which recalled the fasions of King Edward (Teddy) VII
  161. TESSA
    Tax Exempt Special Savings Account
  162. TGWU
    Transport and General Workers Union
  163. "The Six"
    France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
  164. Third Way
    A term, relating to the avoidance of extremes, often associated with Blaur and New Labour's policies in general
  165. Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
    Borught together the existing EU treaties into one formal binding document
  166. UDI
    Unilateral Declaration of Independence
  167. UN Security Council
    The body set up to resolve international disputes; its permanent members were the USSR, the USA, Britain, France and China
  168. Unilateralists
    Those who believed that Britain should give up its atmoic weapons without waiting for a multilateral agreement between the nuclear powers to do so
  169. Velvet revolution
    In the face of popular nationalist opposition, the USSR abandoned its authority over the countries of Eastern Europe without a fight; this culminated in the collapse of the USSR itself in 1991
  170. Veto
    Each individual member of the UN Security Council had the right to cancel out the collective or majority decision of the others
  171. Wage freeze
    An undertaking not to press for higher wages until Britain's economy had improved
  172. Welsh Assembly
    Created in 1998 following a referendum the previous year which gave the pro-devolution voters a mere 0.6% victory; initially the Assembly was simply a revising chamber examining UK measures that related to Wales, but later legislation gave Wales governmental powers, similar to those enjoyed in Scotland
  173. Wets
    USed during the Thatcher years as a description of those in the government and Conservative Party who opposed or were uncertain about the tough measures that Mrs Thatcher adopted
  174. White Paper
    A preliminary parliamentary statement of the government's plans in regard to a bill that it intends to introduce
  175. Winter of discontent
    The term comes from the familiar first line of Shakespeare's Richard III: Now is the winter of our discontent
  176. WTO
    World Trade Organisation, the international body responsible for negotiating and monitoring trade agreements between countries
  177. Yuppy (or yuppie)
    Young upwardly mobile professional person
  178. Zeitgeist
    Spirit of the times, i.e. the dominant prevailing attitude
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2015-04-09 14:40:17
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