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Assess the claim that the House of Lords provided the most serious opposition tothe Liberal party(TM)s policy to create a modern welfare state during the period from 1906 to 1914.

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Introduction

The Liberal reforms signaled a huge change in attitudes with the rise of progressive Liberalism and also helped bring about significant change; garnering much support. However the reforms faced much opposition & hindrance from a variety of different groups. Hostility from the House of Lords actively blocked the progress of Lloyd George's 'war budget' (Lloyd George) which aimed to banish poverty from Britain like the 'wolves which once infested its forests', and hence this clash of ideologies brought about a crisis. This was not the only adversary the Liberals had to face, with more radical reform desired by Labour and many workers, anger amongst the Conservatives, and even waning support within the party itself as the reforms alienated more classical Gladstonian Liberals. Although the reforms provided a fundamental shift of policy against poverty, they failed to achieve the resounding support of the poor, workers or Labour party. The reforms were severely limited as they were not preconceived as a welfare programme and failed to eradicate 'poverty, and the wretchedness and human degradation which always follows in its camp' (Lloyd George). ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore the Liberal party's policy to create a welfare state was criticized by many who doubted they would work in practice or thought the burden of cost was too high, 'putting the screw on John Bull'. However despite these negative sentiments in principle, few members of the Liberal party actively opposed the reforms. Furthermore even if the party's core voters were become increasingly dissatisfied by the move towards progressive liberalism, most of its core voters over the period were retained. Thus, it is clear that this movement against reform provided little hindering effect against policy for the creation of a welfare state. The opposition provided by those demanding more reform, and traditional Liberals was almost insignificant when compared to the active resistance posed by the Lords. Confrontation between the Lords had been brewing for some time and reform had been one of Gladstone's demands as far back as 1891. The Lords continually carefully chose Liberal policies and hindered or completely blocked their progress, including the 1906 Education Bill, Land Bills in 1907 and a Licensing Bill in 1908, forcefully obstructing progress. These were not the only clashes the Liberals faced with the House of Lords. ...read more.

Conclusion

This forced Lloyd George to run a minority government depending on support from Labour and Irish nationalists, which in turn distorted policy and further hindered the progress of Liberal reform policy. In conclusion the conflict with the House of Lords without a doubt provided the most serious opposition to the Liberal party's policy to create a modern welfare state. The Lords provided the vast majority of active resistance against the creation of a modern welfare state and were by far the most serious hindrance, compared with other groups which provided little active opposition. However the opposition provided by these other groups was still quite significant in influencing the Party's policy and despite never providing as serious opposition as the Lords, helped to set the foundations for the future demise of the party as a political force. ?? ?? ?? ?? 20/01/2009, JAMES LAWSON HISTORY, LIBERALS & LABOUR MR JEPPESEN Assess the claim that the House of Lords provided the most serious opposition tothe Liberal party's policy to create a modern welfare state during the period from 1906 to 1914. ...read more.

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