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How effective were the liberal reforms between 1900 and 1914.

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Introduction

How effective were the liberal reforms Between 1900 and 1914 the British liberal government introduced the largest series of reforms ever completed by a government till that date. Prior to these reforms it was not considered the duty of the government to provide any form of relief for the poor and when the reforms were passed they were viewed as radical and amazing. Many conservatives considered them unenforceable and many radicals considered them far too small. Yet how effective were these reforms? Prior to the reforms the only relief for children was either from charities or the workhouse, and many liberals claimed that the workhouses were worse than the conditions that many children had previously lived in. ...read more.

Middle

The liberals introduced an old age pension for people over seventy years old and with no other income. They also introduced a married couples pension. Pensions were not a new thing but the most radical thing about these pensions was that they were entirely government funded. The pension was not incredibly large and the average working class person did not live to be 70 but for those who did the pension made them independent. In the year after the introduction 80000 people stopped claiming relief from charities. The unemployed and underemployed had been left to find work themselves with little help. Some charities set up labour exchanges and these were very effective. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the most effective two reforms were national insurance and unemployment benefit. These were not the most generous reforms as they were both contributory but they helped the most important part of a family. The reforms for children and the elderly were non-contributory but they only helped the one particular person receiving them. The national insurance act was so effective at keeping down poverty because previously if a worker fell sick his whole family suffered, now he would receive pay so the whole family benefited, this therefore benefited the elderly (the workers parents) his children and his wife rather than that worker individually. He unemployment reforms were so effective for the same reason. An unemployed worker makes no money so his whole family suffers. By putting people back into work the government benefited whole families of people. ...read more.

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