Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
This thesis examines the construction of a myth of egalitarianism in Britain during the Second World War and subsequent challenges to it under austerity in the immediate postwar years. It engineers the 1951 Festival of Britain as a lens through which to track a history of hope for and disillusionment with socialist reconstruction legislation, addressing the following key questions: How did expectations for postwar social harmony clash with the 'New Britain' delivered by the Labour government after 1945? In what ways did this tension motivate the organization of a festival for the nation, about the nation? Featuring the prophecies of H.G. Wells and George Orwell, baby starvation techniques, modern toilet seat aesthetics, and a particularly striking piece of steak, this thesis endeavors to question the agenda of the Festival of Britain beyond its recognized role as "a tonic to the nation."
Nilsen, Sloane H., "The Myth of Egalitarianism in Wartime and Austerity Britain" (2017). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1125.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.