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Assess the reasons for and the success of the liberal welfare reforms 1906 - 1911

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Introduction

Assess the reasons for and the success of the liberal welfare reforms 1906 - 1911 In the election of 1906 the liberal party won an amazing land slide victory over the conservatives. One of the main reasons for this was the lack of social reform passed by the conservatives while they were in power. The liberal party knew that the public were unhappy about this and because of this they used the offer of social reform in their election campaign. Many historians have argued that the Liberal parties new found wish for more social reform was due to the idea of 'new liberalism' that was popular at the time. It has been said that new liberalism was one of the most important forces in the fight for social reform. The new liberals such as Lloyd George and Churchill were much more concerned with the lives of the working classes than previous political groups. ...read more.

Middle

Other historians argue that the reforms were put ion place to gain some prestige for the party by reforming the current, embarrassing state of the governments provision for the people. This was highlighted by Lloyd Georges visit to Germany and by Churchill's visit to New Zealand. Both of these countries were once seen as lesser than Britain, yet at this time they both had welfare states in place that were helping the people, they had very little of the poverty cited by Rowntree and booth in their studies. Although, for whatever reason, the liberals did introduce a number of reforms. They were divided into four sections, reforms for the young, elderly, sick and workers & unemployed. It has often been said that the reforms for the children were the most important to the liberal party. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Liberals felt that the government should give something back to the elderly after they had worked for so many years. Many committees had looked at the issue of the elderly, and concluded that old age was a main cause for poverty. In 1908, in the budget, an idea for state pensions was introduced. It was agreed that people of the age of 70 and over would receive 5 shillings a week as long as their income was below 31 pounds a year. The plan was very popular and also helped the liberals in another way as well. The liberal party were losing by-elections. Lloyd George once remarked "it is time we did something that appealed straight to the people - it will I think help to stop this electoral rot and that is most necessary". The reforms for workers and the unemployed were a way that the liberals could keep both the workers and the rich happy. The ...read more.

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