Liberal Reforms Essay

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1 Liberal Reforms Motives Essay
Higher History

2 Essay TitleHow far were the reports on poverty produced by Booth and Rowntree responsible for the Liberal social reforms of ?

3 IntroductionIn the late nineteenth century, two social surveys were produced by Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree that highlighted the extent of poverty in Britain. The reports challenged the idea that poverty was self-inflicted and introduced the concept of the ‘deserving poor’. In turn, it is argued that the Liberal government moved away from the laissez-faire attitude and introduced social reforms between 1906 and 1914 to help the poorest sections of society. However, it is too simplistic to attribute the passing of the Liberal Reforms to social surveys alone. The Liberal Government had also been encouraged to pass the Reforms in order to improve national stock and efficiency. Recruitment for the Boer war had highlighted the poor health of the nation, with potential recruits being rejected on medical grounds. Fears that Britain was declining as a world power resulted in steps being taken to improve the quality of the workforce. In addition to humanitarian reasons, there were also political motives for passing the Reforms. The Liberals were aware of the potential of the new Labour party to attract its working class voters with promises of widespread Socialist reforms. New Liberalism involved junior members of the Liberal party breaking with the policies of the 19th Century so appealing to the new working class voters and increasing their standing within the party.

4 1. Booth and Rowntree Reports
Give some facts about findings of reports. (KU)Can see results in legislation passed – pensions, school meals and National Insurance Acts helping the deserving poor.Analysis:- They showed how big the problem of poverty really was, over 30%, dispelling the idea that it was 3% and very few people were affected by it.- Showed real causes of poverty e.g. unemployment, old age, sickness etc. and that most of it was not self-inflicted as society had imagined. This was important in attacking the idea of laissez-faire government.

5 Analysis points - Surveys
It was quite clear that the nation had been shocked by the extent of poverty, 30% of the population, meant that the new Liberal government had a mandate to introduce some welfare measures like free school meals, clearly out of genuine concern for the poor.Rowntree’s poverty line also demonstrated that most poverty was not self-inflicted this made the government & public more ready to accept some welfare reforms.

6 2. National Stock/Efficiency
Boer War – 1/3rd recruits rejected as unfitFears of Britain’s decline as a world powerMain competitor Germany had introduced welfare reforms with positive resultsIn turn, led to legislation like free school meals & school medical inspections to improve health.

7 Analysis – National Efficiency
- Not just reports of Booth and Rowntree that led to passing of Reforms – fears over Britain’s empire and trade led to efforts being made to improve the national stock with limited welfare reforms copied from Germany

8 3. Fear of Labour Party/Socialism
Liberals was traditionally supported by working class especially in areas like Scotland, Wales, N England.New Labour Party was growing and was winning working class support for its campaigns for social welfare policies, such as old age pensions and unemployment benefits.Liberals introduced reforms based on Labour policies e.g. old age pensions.

9 Analysis – Fear of Labour/Socialism
Political motives not to lose new working class male vote to Labour as well as humanitarian concerns resulted in Liberal Reforms.Was a genuine fear of socialism, if the Liberals did not pass some reforms then working class voters would turn to LabourLiberals tried to attract voters with limited reforms e.g. pensions set at age 70 to avoid more expensive reforms proposed by Labour e.g. pension age set lower so cover more of the elderly.

10 4. New LiberalismOld style Liberalism not appealing to working class voters – e.g. focus on Ireland, Free Trade and Empire.New Liberal politicians like Lloyd George & Winston Churchill had been impressed by welfare reforms in Germany.New Liberals also wanted to wrest control of the party from Old Liberals who they felt would lose support to Labour and the Conservatives.

11 Analysis-New Liberalism
New Liberal politicians wanted to make a name for themselves. By pressing for reforms like pensions or free school meals they would get noticed by the public and increase their standing in the Liberal Party.New Liberals felt needed to introduce limited welfare reform to help their working class voters who in turn would continue to vote for the Liberal Party.

12 ConclusionAnswer the question first sentence= “Clearly a combination of humanitarian concerns and political motives that led to reforms”.Booth and Rowntree important – why? Sum up main KU & analysis.Go through each of the other motives give main KU point only and analysis.

The Introduction of Social Reforms by the Liberal Government in 1906-1914

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The Introduction of Social Reforms by the Liberal Government in 1906-1914

There are multiple reasons why the Liberal government introduced acts of social reform between 1906 and 1914. The obvious reason is that there was a great need for reform(change) but there are also many other factors that played a part in the decision for a reform. This change was really required to help and improve Britain. The reason for this need for change was the poor conditions that all parts of Britain had been left in after the conservatives had been in power.

It is often said that the Liberals had to introduce in social reforms due to pressure from the Labour party. This new party was formed in 1903…show more content…

Because of this there were committees set up to evaluate and analyze this to show that the physical condition males was very poor, as this was the group of people who would be defending Britain for years to come something needed to be done. If Britain would always struggle to defeat.

The other factor that made the need seem realistically more desperate was from surveys carried out indifferent places by two very different men Seebohm Rowntree and Charles Booth. The carried surveys out on all classes but were very concerned about the poor. After many years of analyzing and evaluating they calculated that a family of fives minimum necessary income per week for a family to exist at’ mere physical efficiency’ was 21s 8d. this minimum amount was called the poverty line. Over a third of the population of Britain were earning under this poverty line whilst another third were just meeting it. Nearly all of the unemployment was caused by ill health or just lack of work available. If the man lost his job the whole family would struggle to survive. This is when sometimes the children were sent out to work. The liberals needed to change this and New Liberalism was the way.

People were questioning the cost of the Boer war 250 million pounds was spent on a so called ‘questionable conflict’ whe it could have been spent on

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