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1. Why was 'a welfare state' introduced after the War (note here that the term welfare state is in inverted commas - i.e. think about to what extent it was, and was considered by contemporaries to be a welfare state.

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Introduction

Tutorial Week 6: Welfare State 1. Why was 'a welfare state' introduced after the War (note here that the term welfare state is in inverted commas - i.e. think about to what extent it was, and was considered by contemporaries to be a welfare state. Note that the word welfare state is in inverted commas. This is because there has been widespread debate on the right definition of a welfare state. The word itself comes from the German word 'Wohlfahrstaat' - used to express the inadequacies of the social reforms introduced in 1920s Germany. Wolhlfahrstaat 'welfare' remains today a mainly derogatory term used to express centralised means-tested benefit. The term 'social service state' was coined by Beveridge as a response to the something-for nothing connotation related to a welfare state. Recently 'social security' has been used in the US, to express the same thing. Historically, the US Government's low expenditure on social services and dependency on a private health care means the country is not generally considered a fully functioning welfare state. There are various political and historical undertones embedded with 'welfare state.' We have no choice but to enter the world of normative economics and have a bias view of its meaning. ...read more.

Middle

While the war alone did not give rise to a British welfare system it offered the opportunity for the publication of the Beveridge report, social legislation and other white papers, which received a very popular response. Universal conditions experienced during the war put the wheels in motion for a welfare system after the war. Labour was the party seen most likely to introduce welfare reforms and full-employment to all after the war. The progress of the welfare state ran in tandem with their rise to power. During the war Labour managed to provide free milk for children, supplementary pensions for the needy and abolished the households means test - applaudable achievements in any case, even more so when you consider that the Conservatives headed by Churchill were still in power. The Labour party saw the working classes' involvement in the war effort as key to victory at a newer more efficiently run Britain and strengthened its position by promising social services and rights for all. Key labour ministers played their part in the launch and printing of the Beveridge report. Full employment and the creation of a welfare state were placed top of Labour's agenda. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was the British people who should be given their due for a very British welfare state. The war applied the shock through exposure of underdeveloped areas and the people responded. It was the war and the aspirations for a welfare state in the country that caused a domino effect - in the rest of the country; a rise in knowledge of social policies and anticipated response from those in power, the rise of the labour party and the induction of the Beveridge report. In conclusion the emergence of a universal and collectivist British society due to the effects of the war was the main factor towards the creation of a welfare state. This is because its effect was widespread and caused a chain reaction in the political, economic and social dynamics of the country growing into a will and need for a welfare state. Sullivan, Michael (1996), 'The development of the British welfare State,' New York : Prentice Hall. Laybourn, Keith (1995), 'The evolution of the British welfare State, c. 1800-1993,' Ryburn Publishing, Keele University Press. Jones, Margaret and Lowe, Rodney (2002), 'From Beveridge to Blair : the first fifty years of Britain's welfare state, 1948-1998.' Manchester : Manchester University Press. Lowe, Rodney (2005), 'The welfare state in Britain since 1945,' Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan. ...read more.

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