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Explain Why the Liberal Government Introduced a Series of Reforms Between 1906-1914. What Reforms Did They Introduce, and How Far Did They Go Towards Laying the Foundations of the Present Welfare State System.

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Introduction

EXPLAIN WHY THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT INTRODUCED A SERIES OF REFORMS BETWEEN 1906-1914. WHAT REFORMS DID THEY INTRODUCE, AND HOW FAR DID THEY GO TOWARDS LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE PRESENT WELFARE STATE SYSTEM The new Liberal Government of 1906 marked the beginning of a new era in British politics, because they managed to take office, after winning by a landslide victory. The conservative party had been in power for years, representing the wealthy upper classes, but now, with the Liberal government in power, the lower and middle classes were finally represented-the government was no longer dominated by wealthy aristocrats. The Liberal government knew they needed to be more involved with society and needed to change the way things were, ensuring that the public were even. The Liberals decided to introduce a number of reforms while they were in power, in return for middle and working class support. The reforms mainly supported the young, the old, the unemployed, the workers and the sick. When the Liberal government came to power, it saw the beginning of new Liberalism, which went against the idea of 'Laissez-Faire'. They knew things had to be changed. These changes needed to be made for several reasons. ...read more.

Middle

The second part of the national insurance act for unemployment was partially similar, as it was a fund which people contributed to and people who became unemployed, received 7 shillings, for a maximum of 15 weeks. After the 15 weeks were up, nothing at all was given to them. This act was also bad in that it only covered certain trades. Other acts which benefited workers were the coal mines act, as it introduced an 8 hour working day for miners, the merchant shipping act, which provided strict regulations on the standards of food and accommodation for all British crew members on registered ships, and the workers compensation act, which provided compensation for all workers whose health had been damaged by jobs, although many took advantage of the act and it also was very expensive. Some of the workers acts were not as good compared to the ones I have just explained, and weren't really that successful or didn't benefit a lot of people. The Shops Act was one of these, which gave shop assistants half a day off each week, but this time had to be made up somewhere. The trade boards act provided a minimum wage for some jobs, although the jobs that it did provide for were rare ones and as they were rare, it affected too few of the workforce. ...read more.

Conclusion

Today in Britain, we live in a welfare state. This means that residents of our country pay tax which goes towards things in order to make things in that country better e.g. health care, education etc. The Liberals did introduce some reforms but didn't introduce a welfare state because it would have been a very big jump from what they were used to ('Laissez-Faire'), to a welfare state. To the people at this time, it would have been a great improvement, as before, they had never experience anything like these reforms. The Liberal government introduced reforms to their people because they knew things had to be changed, to make Britain a better place to live. They felt that they could best achieve these changes through introducing reforms. The reforms introduced by the Liberal government were a big improvement for the people. It is evident that they did improve the majority of lives of the country in some way. Although the reforms weren't perfect and had many faults, they also did have there good points. As you can see the reforms created a better standard of life, but a welfare state was not created, yet it was an improvement from 'Laissez-Faire'. I can therefore say that in some ways, the Liberal reforms started to make the foundations for a welfare state system, which is in use today. ...read more.

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