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

Nevertheless, between 1906 and 1914, the Liberals made a series of welfare reforms including the first state pension, national health insurance system and unemployment legislation.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Today, it is widely accepted that a key function of Government should be to provide for and ensure the welfare of its people. In the early 20th century, that view was not held by the vast majority of people. The prevailing ideology of Laissez-Faire ("leave alone") said that the state should stay out of the lives of the people. Any state intervention in the economic or social world would be a hindrance to individual freedom and a step towards tyranny. Poverty and unemployment were the results of the moral inadequacies of individuals. It is in this environment that the Liberal Government of 1906 would be elected, with a massive majority of 400. Their manifesto promised to protect "free trade", as opposed to the Conservative policy of tariffs. ...read more.

Middle

The forerunner of the Labour Party, the Labour Representation Committee, formed in 1900. It was an uneasy alliance of relatively small socialist parties and the Trade Unions. The LRC vowed to fight for changes in legislation, which would benefit the Trade Unions and the working class in general. This development made the Liberal party uneasy. They were afraid that their working class voters might desert them if they didn't begin to address some of Britain's social problems - such as poverty and unemployment. Lloyd George, speaking in 1904, warned that "unless we can prove that there is no necessity for a separate party to push forward the demands of labour, then the Liberal party in England will be practically wiped out". ...read more.

Conclusion

Surely, it is argued, that if they "feared" Labour so much, they would have attempted to marginalize rather than accommodate them. Motivated by a kind of 'Imperial angst' that had sprung up at the end of the 19th century, the Liberals decided to strive for a new 'national efficiency. The re-unification of Germany, and it's sudden growth into a superpower under Bismarck, coupled with the ever increasing might of the U.S.A, led many to believe that Britain's position as the main Imperial power would be under threat. These fears were only worsened when the 'great British army' had struggled to victory over a group of disgruntled South African farmers in the Boer War. It was believed that social and welfare reforms would be a panacea to these problems, creating a more cohesive society and a population of skilled and healthy workers who could work productively and be good soldiers if and when required. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. In detail describe the historical development of the welfare state since 1945 and how ...

    The NHS gave people free access to G.P's, hospitals, specialists, dental and eye treatment and hearing facilities, however, in 1951 NHS charges were introduced for the first time which was cost for dentures and 1952 charges for dental treatment was introduced.

  2. 1. Why was 'a welfare state' introduced after the War (note here that the term ...

    These factors facilitated an evolving process and established the beginning of a welfare state designed to protect individuals. The Second World War brought about a collectivist attitude among the British people. The war exposed poverty, malnutrition and rampant illiteracy previously hidden from the Government or its people.

  1. The Creation of the Welfare State

    needed to be enough people and so they should try and keep clean as mush as they can. The picture is simple because many of the workers were uneducated and it was important that message was conveyed to the illiterate ones as they have little knowledge of how a little

  2. Which major domestic and international factors made German unification possible?

    way for unification, since at least some of the parties running for office were not committed to unification but were purely running to maintain status quo. Within in the polls right from the beginning the newly named SED party, who were now called Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS)

  1. "Simply a response to the growth of the Labour Movement". How adequate is this ...

    Katy settles down on her bed (it is her turn on the bed tonight) and tries to get some sleep. It's back to work tomorrow, as it is every day. Katy wishes she could have a break on Christmas day...

  2. "Did the Liberal Government of 1906-14 create the early Welfare State?"

    Other research into the extent of poverty was carried out in York by Seebohm Rowntree who had been inspired by the work of Charles Booth. Rowntree spent two years studying levels of poverty in York and the living conditions of its inhabitants.

  1. "The Creator Of The Welfare State." How Well Deserved Is This Description Of The ...

    It is arguably "the greatest single achievement in the story of the Welfare State." "Ignorance" was dealt with through the introduction of Acts such as the Education Act.

  2. Free essay

    Consider the view that the liberal government reforms 1906-1914 were more concerned with the ...

    The report noted that it was vital for children to acquire a fare amount of cleanliness and nutrition. It recommend that children should be given the chance to have "every branch of domestic hygiene, including the preparation of food, the practice of household cleanliness, the tendance and feeding of young

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