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liberal reforms and the welfare state

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Essay one A welfare state is a state with social services controlled or financed by the Government. Living in the beginning of the 20th century was hard for the working class. In 1900, surveys showed that between 15% and 20% of the population were living with bare minimum. Worse between 8% and 10% of the population were living below subsistence level. These figures seem really wrong and inhumane to society's standards today, but this was normal in these times and in fact worse in earlier years. Previous to 1906, poverty was a common problem. The poor law, which was passed in 1601, meant that each parish had to care for the poor in their area. From this, the poor were sent to live and work in poorhouses where the able bodied poor were permitted to simply work in them, the people who owned their house were to pay taxation named the poor rate, in order to provide some relief, and poor children were made to be apprentices to a trade. ...read more.


Would he be able to perform the tasks expected of him in the workplace and on the battlefield? The Government would have to do something to ensure basic health levels among the population. The Liberals also realised the public following popular socialism. In 1906 there was a new type of Liberalisms, which inspired the reforms. Bismarck's progressive social legislation in Germany inspired people and gas and water socialism. 1908 saw the old age pensions act, which meant all those over the age of 70 were entitled to 5 shillings each week. In addition to this, the coal mines act meant that 8 hour working days were the maximum for miners. 1909 was the start of The children's act, this prevented children from begging, as well as the sale of alcohol to those under the age of 16. Also in 1909, the labour exchanges aided people in their search for employment. During 1910, the liberals introduced the Education Act in order to decrease the number of young adults in employment with no prospects, Also career guidance was brought into the national educational curriculum. ...read more.


1920 saw Lord Dawson produce a report on how the National Health Service could be organised. In the 1930s local authorities now owned poor law hospitals. They needed much upgrading. The service and standard was different from town to town. The London County Council and Middlesex were achieving a lot and running well, but many councils did not. In this time plenty of reports were being produced by the BMA. The King's Fund and the Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust as protectors of hospitals were also deeply involved. During the Second World War the conservatives produced the first white paper report on the health service in 1944, but after Labour's election victory in 1945 Bevan presented a new plan which was favouring nationalisation of all hospitals, voluntary or council, and a regional framework. After much negotiation this plan went through, with a great outcome. On July 5 1948 the National Health Service took control of 480,000 hospital beds in England and Wales. An estimated 125,000 nurses and 5,000 consultants were available to care for hospital patients. Sinead Jackson Access Group B ...read more.

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