Making the Empire Christmas Pudding (CO 956/62)

The Dawn of Affluence: how did living standards change? 1900 - 1960

These teaching resources are free to download and use in the classroom. We hope that they will inspire and support the use of archival material and datasets for teaching early 20th century social and economic history.

The resources were produced by teachers participating in The National Archives and University of Sussex Teacher Scholar Programme - 'The Dawn of Affluence' in 2013. This teacher education programme ran as part of the ESRC funded project The Living Standards of Working Households in Britain, 1904 - 1960, which developed datasets based on government Household Expenditure Surveys conducted in 1904, 1937-8 and 1953-4. These datasets are now providing academic historians at Sussex with a much deeper insight into Edwardian, inter-war and post-war living standards and are available to teachers and students as well. Full details of the project are available at the project website.

Each of the seven teachers has developed a series of lessons which focuses on different aspects of the Living Standards, and provides complete classroom-ready teaching rationale, lesson plans and resources, as well as a supporting contextual essay which sets the teacher's work in the wider context of the historiographical debate about living conditions in the UK between 1900 and 1960.

It is possible to access the lectures and PowerPoint presentations for the programme on the British Living Standards website and a list of other useful web resources from The National Archives. The data used can be found in documents LAB 9, LAB 17 and LAB 24.