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

Why did the Liberals introduce some social reforms in the period 1906-1914?

Extracts from this document...


Why did the Liberals introduce some social reforms in the period 1906-1914? In January 1906 the Liberals won a landslide victory winning nearly 400 seats compared to the Conservatives 157. This was a new era for the Liberal party and the country, the government was no longer dominated by of wealthy landowners and aristocrats but contained new radical thinking Liberals. This government was no longer to pursue laissez faire policies as the Gladstonian Liberals had but was to start a new era of social reform. But why did the Liberals decide to pursue this policy of new liberalism and take the first steps to socially reform Britain? There were mixed motives within the Liberal party for carrying out these social reforms. The attitudes to the poor were now changing throughout the country, thanks to the research of people such as Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree people no longer believed that the poor were in poverty just because they were lazy but because of low wages and large families that they could not afford. It was revealed that up to 30% of the population were living in poverty and some liberals felt this was socially unjust. ...read more.


Britain was expecting a major war in Europe soon and needed to have a healthy nation to defend the British Empire it was also thought that a healthy workforce would be more productive as fewer days of work would be missed. This was seen to be the case in Germany which had already began to introduce the welfare state and had now overtaken Britain in productivity. Germany had also extended the school leaving age and so had a better educated workforce this was again seen to increase productivity and it also increased pressure on the Liberals to make changes. One of the major reasons why the Liberals began to make changes was because of the extension of the franchise in 19** now nearly all men had the vote and so the Liberals had to take into account the views of the working classes. Trade unions were also becoming more prominent and increasing pressure on the government to give working people a fair deal. When the Labour party began to emerge in the early 1900's the Liberals knew they would have to act to retain working class support or risk loosing support to Labour, however they also believed ...read more.


However they lost their overall majority, probably because some of the middle class voters had been scared off by the new radical thinking Liberals. This forced the Liberals to join with both the Labour Party and the Irish Nationalists to regain the majority but in order for the parties to agree to this there were conditions the Irish nationalists wanted a home rule bill and Labour demanded that a National insurance scheme should be set up and in 1911 David Lloyd George helped to set it up. Overall there were a multitude of reasons why the Liberals began to introduce these social reforms into Britain, but mainly it was a mixture of changing attitudes towards the poor both within the Liberal party and the country through out a the threat of loosing support to the newly formed Labour party, as the working classes could now vote they would surely turn towards Labour if the Liberals did not do anything to help them. As a result the liberals took the first steps on the road towards a welfare state, setting up old age pensions, National insurance, unemployment benefit and the points in the so called children's charter. These were the foundations in which a proper welfare state was to be built in the future. ...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. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    The question of the Royal throne and the Governor's seat was also solved in a fair way. Maitland refused to seat on the throne and agreed leave it empty as a symbol of majesty and sovereignty. The governor had to seat outside the railings on the right hand side.

  2. Why Did the Liberals Experience a Constitutional Crisis in the Period 1909-1911? How Successful ...

    The People's Budget precipitated the constitutional crisis, which ended two years later in the 1911 Parliament Act, which curtailed the Lords' veto. How far it was deliberately contrived to provoke a clash with the Lords remains a matter of some controversy.

  1. The Conservative party ruled Britain from1886 until 1905, however they lost the 1906 elections.

    the Conservative part was becoming more unpopular due to several reasons as a result to it. At the end of the nineteenth century, Britain was involved in the Boer war; this was when some of her colonies in South Africa began rebelling against British rule, this dragged Britain into a war that they were not prepared for.

  2. Free essay

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

    children, followed by those effecting the old, those affecting the sick and those affecting the British workforce. January 1906, the liberal government won the general election in a landslide result. The Liberals won 401 whilst counting on the support of 29 labour members.

  1. Why did the Liberal government introduce reforms between 1906 and 1912?

    In 1889, Charles Booth published a book, Labour and Life of the People, holding his studies on poverty in London. He wrote that 35% of the people in London were suffering from poverty.

  2. Nevertheless, between 1906 and 1914, the Liberals made a series of welfare reforms including ...

    This essay will discuss to what extent the Liberal reforms were motivated by this "threat" from the Labour Party: Or whether other factors such as the growth of New Liberalism, drives for 'national efficiency' and the social investigations of Booth and Rowntree were just as important.

  1. 'Asses the success of the Liberals from 1906-1914 in dealing with their domestic problems.'

    Their dealings with Britain's Welfare certainly challenged the traditional Victorian attitude towards state intervention with the introduction of various social reforms including Pensions, National Insurance and Unemployment Acts. In terms of changing long-standing Government policies, the Liberal's dealings with poverty can arguably be considered their greatest success as the resourcefulness

  2. The constitutional change in the House of Lords

    The Royal Commission report became known as the Wakeham Report and contained 132 wide-ranging proposals. According to the report, the Commission had recommended that there should be no major extensions of the powers of the second chamber. The powers of the second chamber would remain as present with expansion of its scrutiny.

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