When did the British class system 'end'?

Aug 2008
208
Auckland
#1
I know it hasn't really ended, there's still remnants from the old days, but I'd just wanted to know when there was significant changes to the system.

Nowadays, Britain looks pretty egalitarian, with the exception of the hereditary nobles (Like the Duke of Bedford, and the family seat, the mansion is so nice :eek:), but was it after WW2 that the class system began to fade away?

Thanks for reading.
 
#2
I don't believe it will ever end until a republic is declared. Nowdays in Britain one group of people (the Royal family) are legally superior to the rest from birth. The Monarchy is an outdated, illegal, undemocratic and useless institution.

Visca sa republica!
 
Oct 2008
38
#3
I don't believe it has ended. Certainly its clarity has diminished somewhat and that probably has a lot to do with WWII. With that said, change had become apparent in the class system with the election of the Labour government during the inter-war period; the change was slight, but it got the ball rolling so to speak.

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott - himself from a working class background - did a documentary on the beeb not so long ago now and it became quite apparent that those of a higher class status seem convinced that there is no longer a class divide. I would love them to swap their lifestyle with that of a working class Liverpudlian who can barely get by on what they earn.

The class system hasn't really ended, it's just morphed into something a little less black and white.
 
Nov 2008
639
Melbourne, Australia
#5
A classless society has never been achieved, nor is ever likely to be achieved in the near future. There will always be dramatic differences in wealth and opportunity within a single population. Legally, however, formal, political equality has been established in Britain. I would say that this process began with the Great Reformation Act, in which the voting base was widened dramatically, and similar reforms, and with the rise of the Labour Party.
 
Nov 2008
70
Portugal
#6
I don't believe it will ever end until a republic is declared. Nowdays in Britain one group of people (the Royal family) are legally superior to the rest from birth. The Monarchy is an outdated, illegal, undemocratic and useless institution.

Visca sa republica!
Actually Portugal is a republic and I want monarchy back. That is not that simple. Democracy has nothing to do with the regime. Comparing the two it has some advantages I prefer for Portugal. Each country is a different case.

But I don't know how the british royalty works. It seems to me that they are very partial (actually the queen is generally known as the Queen of England). This should not happen as the United Kingdom is a country (maybe not a nation...), but this is what I percieve. It is even worse for the other commonwealth countries, they are completely neglected. I think they should ask the Windsors to have a separate king/queen.

Like the Duke of Bedford, and the family seat, the mansion is so nice
But the question here is not because they are nobles, it is because they are a family. Or don't you agree that you should inherit your fathers' houses?

A classless society has never been achieved, nor is ever likely to be achieved in the near future
Obviously. But are you talking about monetary classes or real social classes? If you want rich peoples are a class, poor/medium are other. Now imagine two equal peoples. Now imagine one works well in his life and the other doesn't. One gets rich and the other doesn't. Their sons will then be on different classes, it cannot be avoided. But they can move from one class to another.
In the western world there are no social classes de jure.
 

Chookie

Ad Honorem
Nov 2007
7,628
Alba
#7
But I don't know how the british royalty works.
Mostly it doesn't. I agree that monarchy is outdated, anachronistic and unnecessary in modern Europe.

Camara;51365It seems to me that they are very partial (actually the queen is generally known as the Queen of England). This should not happen as [B said:
the United Kingdom is a country (maybe not a nation...)[/B]
A better description would be supra-national state. It is actually a union of separate and very disparate nations.
 
Nov 2008
70
Portugal
#8
A better description would be supra-national state. It is actually a union of separate and very disparate nations.
That's what I think. Spain is the same thing. Note that at least in Spain republicanism is mostly linked to independence/more autonomy. This is because catalans/aragonese/basque/galicians, etc do not identify with the monarch (in Spain it is obvious to me the king of Spain is mostly the king of Castile, but this is my Portuguese perspective) or because they see their independence threathned by such a "strong" head of the spanish state as a king. That's why I think monarchs works very good if they represent the nation. These pluri-national countries struggle with this, I completely understand that a scottish guy does not identify with the "english" Elisabeth II. Monarchy needs this coupling with the people, if it does have it, it works great. Monarchists in Scotland and Catalonia (for example) that want a separated monarch have to solve the problem of who should be the monarch.

I agree that monarchy is outdated, anachronistic and unnecessary in modern Europe.
I completely disagree (at least in the Portuguese case, I don't know the others). We can create a thread to discuss this.
 
#9
The British monarchy is a constitutional monarchy.


While The Queen is the Head of State she no longer has a political or executive role. She does however play an important part in the life of the nation.

While an elected Parliament has ability to make and pass legislation, it is transient needing to be elected at most every five years, while the Monarch remains and in theory at least sanctions the will of the people. She is the true third way, you may get right wing or left wing governments (both terms incorrectly and over used) but at the centre remains the Monarch.

Each government swears alliance to the Crown, as do the military, the coast line nominally also is crown property. Certainly a government may ignore the Monarch but to do so would be an illegal act and yet another independent element of the British constitution would kick in the law which neither the Monarch nor is elected government not above, though some recent government appear to think they are.


Picture a civil war in Britain?

Who would you support the elected government, the Crown, the opposition, the Courts and the law?

While the Monarch is bound to support the duly elected government but only if they are obeying the law. The Monarch is bound by law as should be the government so should she dissolve parliament if the government act illegally?

Should the elected government instruct the armed forces to act illegally and particularly against the Crown it should be remembered that it is to the Crown that the military swear alliance, not the government. So it would be perfectly legal to disobey an order to act against the Monarch.

It is a political mess and that is its strength short of outright revolution (left or right) it would be difficult to be sure of who would support you.


Constitutional monarchy is pretty popular I can think of about 18 of them and that is not counting those of the British Commonwealth who still regard the British Monarch as Head of State.

Constitutional monarchy is a good idea keeps things confused and tempers fanaticism.

Every Prime Minister since she was crowned has been amazed at the Queen’s knowledge of the current political situation and her clear headed ideas, not something egotistical politicians easily admit.
 
Sep 2008
268
Orkney, United Kingdom
#10
There is still a class system and will re,ain so. This I think is the same for nearly every country in the world, if class is determined by wealth and power. Whilst we still have a class society I think it could agreed that it has narrowed over the past century, probably from WW1 onwards but there is a definite line that will never disappear while man is on the earth. There will always be a them and us situation. The question is not so much disappeared but really how much has the gap narrowed?