Abdication Crisis Political And Social Impacts On Britain Modern History Essay

1448 words - 6 pages

Assess the Political and Social impacts on Britain of King Edward’s Abdication
The abdication of King Edward VIII brought many consequences to Britain, both beneficial
and disadvantageous through political and social aspects. His abdication left a promising
role for his younger brother King George VI, as it provided him with the opportunity to give
Britain a traditional leader. The choice Edward had made for his marriage had largely
affected his life as he was no longer allowed to visit his homeland without the approval of
his elder brother. Nonetheless, the crisis would have never of taken place without Wallis
Simpson, leaving her with a lifetime of harassment from society. The Abdication left
Queen Elizabeth II with an immense amount of responsibilities as head of state, vowing to
the Commonwealth that she would put her role as Queen above her own welfare. It is
clear that the Abdication Crisis had left critical impacts on those involved, leaving some
with a heavy burden, whilst providing others with vast amounts of respect.
The Abdication Crisis was favourable in the succession of King George VI as the British
Monarchy were in need of a traditional leader who would preserve its power. King Edward
was considered a controversial leader who posed a threat to the stability of the Monarchy,
as his disregard for the established traditions proved his unsuitable role as King. When
George VI came to the throne, he preserved the monarchy's position in the modern world.
This was done through his following of the traditional domestic values and the
parliament's authority that was used by his father during World War I. King George VI was
able to lead the Monarchy through one of the biggest threats to both Britain's Monarchy
and existence, which was World War II. George's primary focus was to "strengthen the
sense of community", also dedicating his position on the throne to distance himself from
the hardships that his elder brother King Edward VIII faced. George resembled his father
through his image as a humble family man, thus receiving support from the people of
Britain. After he had signed Edward's instrument of abdication, he was greeted by
"thousands of Londoners" at the front of his home on his arrival from Fort Belvedere on
December 10. The reason behind the new King's popularity can be seen in an article by
the New York Times stating "He has never made a slip in his private or public life. Above
all, he has been what the home-loving British people call a happy ‘family man.’ He has
been modest in his personal life, careful in the choice of his friends, devoted to his British-
born wife and a perfect father of two little princesses, one of whom may rule one day as
another Queen Elizabeth." Ultimately, King George VI was able to do what King Edward
VIII could not. The years following the Abdication Crisis, George VI and his family were
able to present themselves accordingly through the use of established traditions, keeping
public spirit and...

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