The effects of the metric system on the united kingdom
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The Effects of the Metric System on the United Kingdom. By Alex Horton. Topic Index. The United Kingdom before 1971 Moving to the Metric Unit The effects on the country The Currency in the UK today The Euro The effects of the UK currency. An understanding.

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Topic index l.jpg
Topic Index

  • The United Kingdom before 1971

  • Moving to the Metric Unit

  • The effects on the country

  • The Currency in the UK today

  • The Euro

  • The effects of the UK currency


An understanding l.jpg
An understanding

The United Kingdom and the United States, though similar, are in many more ways different.

The Average middle classed home can be bought for close to or under £100,000

The average homeowner brings in

about £30,000- £40,000

The lifestyles of the average family is

Also much more different.


Timeline of united kingdoms economy l.jpg
Timeline of United Kingdoms economy

  • By the time of Queen Victoria's death in 1901, other nations, including the United States and Germany, had developed their own industries; the United Kingdom’s comparative economic advantage had lessened, and the ambitions of its rivals had grown. The losses and destruction of World War 1, the depression in its aftermath during the 1930’s, and decades of relatively slow growth eroded the United Kingdoms preeminent international position of the previous century.

  • The Great Depression hit the nation especially harshly, as it had still not fully recovered from the war. See also the Great Depression in the United Kingdom.

  • WW2 again saw a great deal of destruction to British infrastructure, the years after the war also saw Britain lose almost all of her remaining colonies as the empire dissolved. In UK general election, 1945 the Labour Party was elected which introduced sweeping reforms of the British economy.

  • Taxes skyrocketed, industries were nationalized, and elaborate welfare state with health, pensions, and social security was created.


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Timeline continued

  • The next years saw some of the most rapid growth Britain had ever experienced, recovering from the devastation of the Second World War and then expanding rapidly past the previous size of the economy.

  • By the end of the 1960s this growth began to slow, and by the 1970s Britain entered a long running period of relative economic malaise. This lead to the election of Margaret Thatcher, who cut back severely on the government's role in the economy and weakened labour unions.


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The United Kingdom before 1971

  • Before 1971 the coins used were half-penny, penny, three pence coin, six pence coin, shilling, two shilling piece, two shilling and sixpence coin (half-crown), ten shilling note and a pound note

  • Particular coins began to form nicknames that would go onto become their known names

  • To make things easier, these coins were then organized into £, s, and d so they would be easier to understand.


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The love of the currency

  • Phrases became popular about currency such as;

    'You look as if you'd lost a shilling and found sixpence.' and 'A penny for your thoughts‘

  • Not only phrases, but songs became popular amongst the British public, with some still being sung today by people of all ages.

    SixpenceChristmas

    I've got sixpence, Christmas is coming

    A jolly jolly sixpence, The goose is getting fat

    I've got sixpence to last me all my life Please put a penny in the old mans hat.

    I've got tu'pence to lend If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do.

    And tu'pence to spend If you haven't got a ha'penny, a farthing will do.

    And tu'pence to send home to my wife. If you haven't got a farthing, then God bless you.


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The need for change?

  • Easier to understand for the rest of the world.

  • The NRC.

  • A chance to move forward, and to improve our metric system to agree more with the rest of the worlds.


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The reaction by the public

  • What is this new currency?

  • TV commercials

  • Government help


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Old currency

Pennies dating back from Victoria to Elizabeth II

Victorian Crown

5 pence worth in old pennies

Thrift Thruppence

Victorian Crown


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Value of Coins

  • 4 farthings= 1 penny (1d)

  • 2 ha'pence= 1 penny (1d)

  • 3 pence= 1 thruppence(3d)

  • 6 pence= 1 sixpence (6d)

  • 12 pence= 1 shilling (1s)

  • 2 shillings= 1 florin (2s)

  • 2 shillings and 6 pence= 1 half crown(2s 6d)


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Learning early

  • So that people in the United Kingdom would understand the metric system that was being used, they would be taught in school tirelessly.

  • My father tells me how ‘it would get so repetitive. Our teachers would relate almost everything that we would do to the metric system, and we would do continuous exercises involving them, we were each given as an aid our own conversion table. The following slide shows a typical table used in school.


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The effects of the metric change

  • The Metric system changed the way people lived and bought goods when it first came out.

  • Various items went up in cost and this caused a lot of controversy.

  • People went out before the change and bought in excess in fear of losing money.

  • The fear caused many companies at first to lose money and this caused concern.

  • As time went on however, people began to accept the new change and use it to their advantage


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The currency in the UK today

  • Currency today is strong as it ever has been, and continues to do well in society, despite fears and moments of inflation at times.

  • The coins today include the 10, 20, 50, 1 and 2 pound coins, and in notes they are 5, 10, 20, 50 pound notes.

  • It is agreed upon between all countries in the United Kingdom.


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The currency continued

  • The relatively good economic performance has complicated the Blair government’s efforts to make a case for Britain to leave the pound sterling and join the euro.

  • The ‘5 economic tests’

  • The currency today reflects all of the United Kingdom, with the culture and history of each country being included on the money.


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The currency today

20 Pence

2 Pence

50 Pence

1 Pound

5 Pence


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The Pound

  • After the change in 1971 the pound became the coin of Britain.

  • In order to distinguish the unit of currency from the unit of mass, and others, it is often referred to as pound sterling, sterling, or the slang term ‘quid’.

  • In modern times the

    pound has replaced the

    penny as the basic unit

    of currency.


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The introduction of the Euro

  • Adopted on January 1, 1999 by 11 Member States.

  • Mid December, 2001

  • June 30, 2002


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Euro vs. Pound Sterling

Reasons for the Euro

Reasons for the pound


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Exchange rates

£ per US$1 0.5495 (August 2004)

2004 0.56012003 0.62082002 0.68722001 0.66992000 0.61821999 0.60871998 0.60711997 0.58411996 0.646419950.6396

£ per EU€1  0.6597 (August 2004)

2004 0.70482003 0.65232002 0.61282001 0.63112000 0.624819990.7038


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The effects of the UK currency today

  • Service industries, particularly banking, in insurance and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of G.D.P.

  • G.D.P in the UK today is almost £1.53 trillion.

  • However unemployment is 4.8% and exports and less then imports ( exports = $271 billion, imports = $305.9 billion.



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