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Liberal Reforms.

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Introduction

History Coursework--Liberal Reforms Adam Bowen 1. Winston Churchill was a shadow minister in the Liberal Party. Churchill was concerned about the state of Britain's labourers at the beginning of the twentieth century. Winston Churchill stated that 'a large proportion' of the population is malnourished and not healthy. Churchill's tone and manner within the letter is unsympathetic. He had an uncaring attitude towards the poor. He was not concerned about poverty for moral reasons. He was concerned about the national efficiency of Britain. Churchill was interested in America's attitude towards the poor. He was worried that America was a growing power that dealt with it's poor much more efficiently than Britain. Most of America's population were fitter and stronger than Britain's. Churchill was worried about competition with America. Another concern that Winston Churchill had was that Britain's empire must remain strong. If a 'large proportion' of Britain's workers were in a poor state then it would give Britain a bad image as an efficient empire. Source A tells us that poverty was becoming a big concern at the beginning of the twentieth century. Politicians were writing and talking about it. Seebohm Rowntree had written a book about poverty detailing findings in York. Rowntree was one of the first people to do scientific investigations into the causes of poverty. ...read more.

Middle

Source F shows people queuing at the Post Office to collect their Old Age Pensions. Little is happening in this picture that is distressing or upsetting. Getting Old Age Pensions was a huge change from receiving Poor Law relief whether it was outdoor or indoor. Old people felt dignified when collecting their pension because what they received was not charity. Source G is quite useful because it tells us that outdoor relief was not 'sufficient to live on'. It shows that the introduction of pensions was important because people like Flora Thompson had written novels about it. The source should be questioned on its reliability though because it is a novel. This could be biased in subtle ways. It could also exaggerate the truth. In source G the facts are exaggerated: 'They were suddenly rich'. This is an over-statement because the pensions that were paid out were not a great deal of money but it was better than what existed previously. 4. Source H is a primary source. It is an example of how the government wanted Labour Exchanges to work. It is government propaganda and therefore it is biased but it is still useful. Source I is a primary source. It is a newspaper article so therefore the writer could be exaggerating the situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Source J) The limitations of this Act were that the benefits did not cover the illnesses of wife or children, and that it did not cover hospital treatment. Labour Exchanges were set up in 1909. These were the forerunners of the modern job centre. The major downside of these exchanges was that they were only voluntary. The Liberal reforms completely changed the ways that ill-health and poverty were dealt with in Britain because the government was intervening for the first time and getting involved with social issues in a systematic way. The only previous government intervention had been the 1875 Public Health Act. There was only the Poor Law and friendly societies before the reforms were in place. The Liberal reforms were not perfect, even Lloyd George admitted that but they created the foundations of the welfare state. The introduction of the Parliament Act in 1911 reduced the power of the House of Lords significantly because now they could only delay bills drawn up by the House of Commons and not halt them altogether. During the introduction of the Liberal reforms the House of Lords blocked the bills that had been drawn up by the House of Commons. The House of Commons now had more power than the House of Lords and this would help future Acts to be passed more easily. The government now believed that it was their responsibility to deal with Britain's poverty and ill-health. ...read more.

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