Reasons For The Liberal Social Welfare Reforms History Assignment/Essay

1411 words - 6 pages

Reasons for the Liberal Social Welfare Reforms
Context
For most of the 19th century, most people believed in ‘laissez-fraire’ and accepted that poverty and
hardship were not things the government could or should do anything about. However, the Liberal
Government (led by Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George)
introduced a range of social welfare reforms to help alleviate the poverty and hardship suffered by children,
the elderly, the unemployed and workers.
Surveys of Booth and Rowentree (1): Surveys Demonstrated the True Extent of
Poverty
Seebohm Rowentree’s study of York published in 1900 entitled ‘Poverty, A Study of Town Life’. Rowentree
concluded that “we are faced with the startling probability that from 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the town
populations of the United Kingdom are living in poverty.” In York Rowentree found 229 houses sharing 155
water taps. He also discovered 247 infants per 1000 dying in poor areas before the age of one, compared
to 94 infants per 1000 in families wealthy enough to hire servants.
Charles Booth’s ‘Life and Labour of the People of London’ published from the 1886-1903 ran to 17
volumes. Booth investigated over 1 million families and found that 305 of Londoners lived in poverty.
Studies demonstrated that the true extent of poverty in Britain and opened the eyes of many of the
middle classes to the horrific conditions that large numbers of the population endured. Many now
realised that something had to be done by government to alleviate the impact of such extensive
poverty.
Surveys of Booth and Rowentree (1): Surveys Demonstrated the True Causes of
Poverty
Seebohm Rowentree made careful use of recent scientific work to establish what a family needed to earn to
buy adequate and fuel and to pay the rent. He concluded that 52% of the very poor were paid wages too
low to sustain an adequate life. Around 21% of families lived in misery because the chief wage earner had
died, or was too ill or to old to work. His ‘poverty cycle of a labourer’ demonstrated how vulnerable
unskilled workers were in childhood, fatherhood and old age.
Charles Booth demonstrated that low pay, lack of regular work, supporting large families, illness and old
age were the major causes of poverty. Booth argued that only 15% of the poor were in such a position
because of drink or laziness.
Studies proved that the vast majority of the poor were poor through no fault of their own. Previous
attitudes that existed- that the poor were poor through their own actions such as through laziness or
drunkenness- were changed by studies which showed the importance of illness, old age and low pay
in causing poverty. However, whilst humanitarian concern was a significant motive it was not strong
enough to overcome financial considerations. For example, the old age pension was limited to those
over 70 although the Liberals were perfectly aware that millions under this age were in desperate
need of help.
The historian Peter Murray has noted that the move toward helping the poorest in society: “was given a
powerful impetus by the revelations of Booth and Rowentree.
Fears over National Security (1): Concerns about National Security
Sparked by the military disaster of the Boer war (1899-1902) and the poor physical condition of recruits in
particular. During the recruitment campaign half of the volunteers had been found to be medically unfit. In
Manchester 8000 of the men who volunteered for the army had to be rejected as physically unsuitable at
once: only 1200 were eventually accepted. To ensure adequate number of recruits the minimum height
requirement for entry into the army was dropped from 5 ft 6 inches to 5 ft 2 inches before the Boer war.
The founder of the Boy Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell, one of the Boer War heroes warned
“recent reports on the deterioration of our race ought ton act as a warning to be taken in time before it goes
too far”.
There were fears that the security of the nation was under threat. The armed forces would be unable
to operate effectively. If forced to recruit from such a poverty ravaged population. Government action
was therefore required to improve the health of these potential recruits. However, not all the reforms
could have been motivated by fears for national security. The old age pension for example would not
have contributed to improving Britain’s military capability.
Fears over National Security (2): Concerns about Industrial Efficiency
British industry was facing increasing competition from factories in Germany and the United States.
In 1905 a group of experts reported that “No country can permanently hold its own in the race of
international competition if hampered by an increasing load of this dead weight of poverty”
School was now compulsory for and it was obvious to teachers and the education authorities that large
numbers of children were coming to school hungry, dirty or suffering from ill-health. In particular it was
argued that children would have to be fed properly if they were to learn properly. “feed the stomach, feed
the mind”
Britain had led the industrialised world during the nineteenth century but was losing its dominance.
In order to regain this it needed healthy men and woman to man machinery, not the malnourished
masses that existed at this time. There was concern that in comparison to Britain’s economic rivals
such as Germany and the USA British workers were insufficiently healthy, energetic or educated -
and that government action was required to put this right. However, not everyone agreed that
government intervention to help the poor was the answer to improving industrial efficiency. Not all
businessmen supported the social reforms.. For example, Lancashire businessmen formed an
association to fight the insurance reforms of 1911.
Eric Evans believes that fears about national security were the most important factor behind the Liberals
decision to introduce reforms arguing that “the single most important precondition for the spate of social
reforms between 1906 and 1914 was fear of the consequences of an unfit and debilitated population”
Rise of the Labour Party
The Third Reform Act of 1884 had extended the vote to all males who were householders. The electorate
increased from 2.5 million to 5 million, the additional voters being almost all working class. Such voters had
traditionally voted for the Liberal Party.
Socialist groups such as the Social Democratic Foundation and the Fabian Society emerged. Such groups
helped to influence the thinking of many working class voters through the publication of books, pamphlets
and newspapers.
The Labour Party was formed in 1900 and made rapid progress. Two MPs were elected in in 1900 but by
the election of 1906 this had increased to 29. By this date the Labour Party had secured the support of
over half a million voters. In 1907 the Liberals lost two by-elections to Labour Party candidates.
In 1906 Lloyd George told a crowded meeting of Liberals “I can tell them what will make this Labour Party a
great and sweeping force in this country… if at the end of an average term of office, it was found that the
Liberal Party had done nothing to cope seriously with the social conditions of the people……… then would
a cry arise in this land for a new party”
The Liberal Party needed to hold on to the votes of the large number of working class granted the
vote in 1884. From the 1880s Liberals had seen the rise of socialist groups which convinced the
voters of the need for greater government intervention to relieve poverty. Increasing numbers of
voters were voting for the newly established Labour Party which supported socialist ideas and
greater government intervention to help the poor. The Liberal felt that they had to do something to
compete with the Labour Party and to hold on to their working class support. They hoped to make
sure that the working class did not defect to the Labour Party by introducing reforms which would
benefit working class people I.e. the poor. However, the impact of the Labour Party should not be
over exaggerated. It was still relatively small and the Liberals could just have easily worried about
losing middle-class voters to the Conservative Party by introducing reforms to help the poor.
Graham Goodlad has stated that “Fear of ‘socialism’ may well have encouraged the Liberals to bring
forward their own reforms, so that there would be no need for the masses to turn to Labour”

RELATED

the reasons for hitlers rise to power - history - essay

1603 words - 7 pages The reasons for Hitler’s rise to power essay 1. The treaty of Versailles 2. Weaknesses in the Weimar republic= hyperinflation, occupation of the Ruhr, the great depression, economic downturn, fear of communism, wall st crash, extremism on the rise 3. Nazi party organisation, Hitler appealed to all classes, being able to deal will the communists, SA, Harzburg front 4. Tactical skills 5. Hitler Role of Hindenburg- used article 48, authoritarian

Reasons for the pilgrimage of Grace - School - Essay

2418 words - 10 pages Free Urjaa Using your understanding of the historical context, assess how convincing the arguments in these three extracts in relation on the reasons for the outbreak of the Pilgrimage of Grace Extract A is convincing to a certain extent in relation to arguing the reasons for the outbreak of the Pilgrimage of Grace. Its main argument is that the rebellion “at heart, the work of a political faction which utilised social, economic and religious

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of alexander II’s reforms - IB history - Essay

1410 words - 6 pages attempted to commit to both autocracy and his liberal reforms he isolated himself from both. Alexander’s social reform, known as the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 was considered one of his most radical efforts. Prior to the emancipation, the serfs made up 90% of the Russia population, despite their majority within the country they mostly illiterate, uneducated and treated as less that human. Discontent ran high among the serfs due to the

The Government, not individuals, should be responsible for healthcare and Welfare Provision. Discuss - modern studies - essay

1545 words - 7 pages been criticised for a variety of reasons. Most damaging was the huge deficit that policies left behind and also the increase of health inequalities when the Third way approach was utilised. It is clear that the third way was not completely successful in finding a healthy middle suitable to deal with Healthcare and welfare provisions. As Welfare dependency is still an ongoing problem the Third way can still be criticised for further contributing to

Kinship care and The Fostering Connections to Success - Social Welfare Policy - Research Paper

1127 words - 5 pages child, and the child welfare agency then places the children with kin. The state has legal custody and the relatives have physical custody. The child's relatives are certified or approved as foster parents and have the rights and responsibilities the same as non-relative foster parents (Child Welfare, Children's Bureau, n.d., p. 6). Social Issues of Kinship Care Despite kinship care being the ideal option for child placement, it is not without its

Nat Turner and the reasons behind on why he did what he did - MSJC /History - Essay on a historical figure

625 words - 3 pages Cordova1 Esmeralda Cordova Professor L.Rash History 25 March 2019 Nat Turner, A Slave Insurrection From being a sweet, religious, innocent child, who was noticed for his manners, Nat Turner turned out to be the biggest mass murder of all slave rebellions in history. However, all this happened due to the fact that one day he claimed he heard loud noises up above in the heavens saying that the serpent was loosened and that it was his

WW1 The Reasons For Involvement And It's Key Players

1051 words - 5 pages WW1Though there are many causes for different countries to have entered World War I, some of the main reasons were heightened nationalism, economic interest through colonial rivalry, and a balance of power in Europe. Key players were the Central powers consisting of Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary; the Allies, a few of which were France, Great Britain and Russia.Europe was in the grip of nationalism in 1914. It was brought about by the

Reasons for Civil War Articles - David M. Potter and Micheal F. Holt Comparison - Austin Peay State University/History 2010 36 - Essay

1317 words - 6 pages Clarissa Huesca. History 2010 36 E. November 18, 2017. The Civil War was a very significant part of American history and has immensely shaped the United States as we know it today. The direct cause of the Civil War is probably one of the most controversial topics in American history. Many believe its cause was the conflict between the North and South on whether or not to preserve the institution of slavery. During that time, slavery was the law

One.tel colllapse. It describes how One.tel colllapsed. The reasons behind its demise - university of wollongong - assignment

1028 words - 5 pages 41% in 1996-97, 54% in 1997-98, 52% in 1998-99 and 46% in 1999-2000 though overall audit quality didn’t improve at all. As a result of the above reasons, in 2001, One.Tel was forced to get closed and was liquidated. on 25 May 2001, the last trading day for One-Tel, its shares closed at Australian 16 cents. The fundamental problem at One.Tel was their interest in chasing low yield business and not caring about the cash reserve and keep enough to

A Satisfying Criticism of "The Scarlet Letter" - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 2018 - Essay

2360 words - 10 pages because of the way he considers the story, evaluates the characters, and the reasons they performed the actions they did. Ragussis studied these components very successfully through the lenses of silence and obscurity. The power of deconstruction lies in the relationship between the text of the source and its meaning, and its examination of that which is often overlooked, which was very well conveyed in this essay. Ragussis was the only critic in the

Why The North Won The Civil War By David Donald: Reflection On The Economic, Military, Diplomatic, Political, And Social Reasons The South Lost

1391 words - 6 pages botheration and disagreement with their opposition. The purpose of this essay is to summarize each of the five arguments presented by Richard N. Current, T. Harry Williams, Norman A. Graebner, David Herbert Donald, and David M. Potter. Each author gives his insight on one of the following five reasons: economic, military, diplomatic, social, and political, respectively.The essay entitled "The Military Leadership of the North and South" by Harry Willams

Thomas Edison Essay For Social Studies - MS67/Social Studies - Essay

544 words - 3 pages Free world war, he moved throughout the Midwest being in place of those people that had gone to war. In is his spare time he studied and experimented with the telegraph becoming used to electrical science. Edison turned to a full inventor when he made a stock ticker and was bought for 40,000 dollars in 1869. In 1871 Edison married 16-year-old Mary Stilwell and they had three children, Marion, Thomas and William. In 1884, Mary passed away of a

The Social Consequences of the Black Death - John abbott, History - Essay

1211 words - 5 pages Reem Mohamed-Ibrahim The Black Death: An Epidemic of Change Essay John Abbott College History Western Civilisation Fiona Tomaszewski Sect: 0004 2018 – 04 – 16 The Black Death was brought to Europe, first in southern Italy, by merchants traveling through commercial routes from Asia. The plague is known to be the most destructive reoccurring pandemics in history. Reducing 50% of European population between 1347 and 1351, an estimated 19 to 38

Interactions and social hierarchy in the new and old kingdoms - AP World History - Essay

484 words - 2 pages Egypt learned from their mistakes in a way. They were less open to outsiders after the Hyksos invasion, and became quite xenophobic. In the US currently, we are also acting xenophobic, for slightly similar reasons to Egypt: we fear that outsiders will somehow do us wrong. However, we are much less justified in our Xenophobia and many of us are against it. This is how interactions evolved from old to new kingdom Egypt. Another way that Egypt

Social SOC307 Essay Assignment 1 - LIT - essay

750 words - 3 pages strong essay, the topic is well-developed and include appropriate details and examples to support a statement. I am NOT asking you to express your personal feelings on a topic but to provide examples from the readings assigned or any personal readings related to the material. Writing: includes the syntax, the vocabulary and the grammar. I am not expecting you to write without mistakes but I am asking you to make as much effort as possible for