Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 98–112 | Cite as

‘Even the Conservatives would be socialists’: British Labour, American Democrats and the postwar transatlantic political economy

  • Gary Helm DardenEmail author


This article analyses the impact of the pivotal British Labour victory of 1945 within the larger continuum of reform over market and property relations in the postwar transatlantic political economy of the United States and Great Britain. Despite the seeming divergence of the American and British political economies after 1945 — one under the rubric of the regulatory reforms of the liberal Democratic party (1933–53), the other under the nationalizing reforms of the socialist Labour party (1945–51), respectively — the two nations, I argue, progressed in the long term along complementary stages of development conditioned by their own historical circumstances. These included not only the impact of the Depression and World War II on each society, but also the distinctive legacy and timing of British and American social reforms throughout the twentieth century.

Key words

Democratic party Labour party liberalism reform socialism 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityMadisonUSA

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