• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Far-Reaching were the Liberal Social Reforms 1906-1914?

Extracts from this document...


How Far-Reaching were the Liberal Social Reforms 1906-1914? During this period, the Liberal Party did much to challenge the traditional Victorian attitude towards state intervention. Many argue that the results were limited. However, at the time, the Liberal's social reform was essentially unprecedented and many believe that the resoursefulness and resolution used by the governmant in establishing its reforms helped to lay the foundations of the welfare state in place today. The main criticisms of the Liberal's reforms were the attitude to welfare was generally too cautious. By 1913, only 1% of national income was spent by the government on pensions, sickness and unemployment insurance and labour exchanges. It was also argued that the reforms lacked thorough organisation, failing to deal with local government administration, and that the motive for demonstrating welfare was often more political than humanitarian. Another significant concern for the Liberal government at this time was the economy of the country. The general economic situation was rapidly deteriorating and lower income groups were affected badly. In addition, the issue was made severe because of the rise in unemployment and fall in wages. The government instigated several laws to attempt to combat this issue. The Liberals initiated work at the Board of Trade to set up labour exchanges, which eventually resulted in legislation in 1909. ...read more.


and 5s a week for a further 13 weeks there after. Others sections of the act included a 30s maternity grant, 5s a week disability benefits and free medical treatment under a panel doctor. Overall, the act was quite successful in reducing poverty.Health levels before this point were so bad that millions became ill and were left with no means of income. However, the act was also unseucsessful in many ways. The scheme did not cover hospital treatment, except admission to the sanatorium intended to benefit tuberculosis sufferers and the risk of poverty was therefore increased. The fact that only workers and not their families were covered meant that the risk of poverty was increased furthermore if a member of the family needed medical treatment. The benefits of the act were also limited. They were only available for a certain amount of time and were relatively small amounts. Also, only certain trades were provided for such building, engineering and iron. The Old Age Pensions Act in 1908 provided 5s per week to those aged 70 or over The introduction of Pensions is often considered as one of the most radical admissions by the Liberal government. However, there were many limitations to this act. Many were excluded from recieving a pension: only those who had annual incomes of �31 or less were eligible for pensions; those who had claimed ...read more.


This was introduced in order to reduce the outbreaks of disease and was largely successful, helping to improve health levels in children nationally. However, there were still many faults to the legislation. Much the same as the previous law regarding children, it was passed only as a result of pressure from the Labour government and imperialistic views. Much more could have been done to improve the situation.There was no similar provision for adults or children who did not attend school. In due course, the Children's act of 1908 established formally the legal rights of children. Measures were introduced to deal with child neglect and abuse, making parental negligence illegal and setting up juvenile courts and remand homes to remove child offenders from the adult courts and prisons. This Act ensured children were not living on the streets and that they had access to food and education. The attempts made overall to improve child welfare were eventually successful, but the time taken to enforce the legislations meant that they only helped improve conditions for some children during this period. Overall, the atempts made by the Liberal government during this period were an encouragihng step towards the creation of the modern welfare state. Considering the difficulties faced by the Liberals, the reforms could be considered to be highly effective. However, the legislations had many restriuctions and nukmerous people were not covered by the acts. Much more could have been done to improve the situation further. Rachel Holmes ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. How effective were the Liberal Reforms between 1906 and 1914?

    Finally, the Children's act of 1908 introduced a consolidation of measures to deal with child neglect and abuse and set up juvenile courts and remand homes to remove child offenders from the adult courts and prisons. This Act ensured children were not living on the streets without food or education.

  2. Did the 'lower orders' generally benefit from the legislation-introduced by Tudor government to combat ...

    It is hardly surprising that the 'lower orders' felt themselves persecuted by their superiors and that an occasion they resorted to violence. The authorities themselves soon realised the deficiencies of the act of 1531 and a new statute was drawn in 1535 that recognised that there was insufficient work available

  1. Which was the most significant Reform, 1830-1931, why?

    However, the qualification regulations still excluded many adult males and all adult females. The same category of males who could not vote after the 1867 reform act could still not do so after 1884. The system for registering voters was very complex and lead to mass amounts of adults (in the decades leading up to the war)

  2. From your studies how far do you agree that Britain has been a tolerant ...

    This was a wake up call for the government and other racist organisations. This event meant that the black people of Britain were no longer going to stay quite. Lord Scarman was appointed by the government to find out about the problems of policing the inner cities.

  1. Describe and evaluate the impact of the children's rights perspective on social policy for ...

    is explicit about the fact that young people not only have rights, but also the responsibility to respect the rights of others, especially of their parents. For example, it states that one of the aims of education should be to develop respect for the child's parents, and their values and culture (Volpe, 1997).

  2. How successful were the Liberal Reforms of 1906-1914?

    Under this Act, the Board of Education was able to specify that at least three inspections must take place during a child's school years. This was introduced in order to reduce the outbreaks of disease, which were very frequent at the time.

  1. Free essay

    environmental legislations

    The integrated pollution control basically makes sure that the way that the wastes is disposed of in the air, the controlled waters, sewers and land is done properly and without any problems. They mainly deal with large industries such as power plants, water and gas companies.

  2. Examine the extent to which liberal governments of 1906 -1915 succeeded in their aim ...

    In order to try deal with these national efficiency concerns two pieces of legislation was passed early in the new Liberal administration, though neither originated from the Liberal Cabinet. The two acts that the Liberals introduced aimed at improving the health of the population to eventually improve the productivity (output per worker)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work