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

The Beveridge Report was merely a re-working of old ideas. How far do you agree with this view considering the changing treatment of the poor 1834-1948?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Beveridge Report was merely a re-working of old ideas. How far do you agree with this view considering the changing treatment of the poor 1834-1948? In June 1941 William Beveridge was appointed to the chair of a special committee convened to assess existing social insurance schemes and make recommendations for improvements that could be implemented after the war. Beveridge, in fact, eventually exceeded his brief and produced a comprehensive national programme for social reform. Within his report Beveridge identified want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness as five 'giants' which obstructed social progress and then proposed an interlocking matrix of strategies through which these could be overcome. Despite its great length his report was an immediate best seller and was received by the public 'as a new gospel.' This essay will trace the development of the concepts that the Beverage Report encapsulated and assess whether the proposals of his report were genuinely revolutionary or simply existing ideas that his committee had restructured. The foremost giant identified in the Beveridge Report was 'want'. He maintained that no British citizen should ever again find themselves in a position of serious need. In 1834 the dominant attitude was that everyone, no matter how humble, could lift themselves and their families to a position of prosperity and that any help provided would take away that person's determination to do so. By the early 1900s attitudes had shifted considerably and work by social investigators like Booth and Rowntree, and social commentators such as Charles Dickens, highlighted the need to provide more support ...read more.

Middle

The grant was extended in 1839 and the government began gradually to involve itself in this aspect of everyday life. The genuine need for a more educated working class became relevant to politicians following the 1867 Reform Bill and as Britain's industrial supremacy became threatened by apparently better educated foreign workers. Such issues stimulated the introduction of the 1870 Forster's Education Act which effectively provided access to primary education throughout the country. In 1902 the possibility for free secondary education was introduced, and by 1918 the official national school leaving age had been raised to fourteen. The recommendations of Beverage's report were implemented in1944 through Butler's Education Act. All education was for the first time to be available free of charge and the school leaving age was raised to fifteen with a planned extension to sixteen a few years later. It was proposed that compulsory part time education should also be introduced up to the age of eighteen as soon as practical. This aspect of the Beveridge report seemed little more than the next step of a natural progression in the development of British education. Indeed the raising of the school leaving age to fifteen had been proposed as early as 1926 in the Haddow Report and many children were already being provided with free education. Beveridge was also determined to confront what he termed 'squalor'. This effectively meant substandard living conditions. In the 1830s rapid urbanisation created a 'squalor' crisis in most major cities. ...read more.

Conclusion

The idea itself was no longer revolutionary; the only new aspect was that it was to be applied to everybody. The Beverage Report provided the direct inspiration for the establishment of the Welfare State and can is generally looked upon as the source of the greatest initiative by any British government to meet the needs of the working people and the poor. Nevertheless a previous attempt to tackle similar issues had occurred under a Liberal government between 1906 and 1914 and there are many similarities between the ideas expressed on both occasions. This is not surprising since Beverage was also a key figure in the implementation of the earlier reforms. The provision of state subsidised insurance against sickness, old age and unemployment was not a new concept in 1942, some provision of free child welfare and medical support was already available and state subsidised quality housing was relatively common. The idea of financing reform through higher taxation of the rich had even been introduced in the 'People's Budget' of 1909. To this extent Beverage was reworking existing ideas in his report. What appeared quite revolutionary in 1942 was the concept that all people, rich or poor were equally entitled to state support and that this support should be universally available. He proposed a 'Welfare State' that would protect all citizens from the 'cradle to the grave'. What also appeared completely new was the actual underlying philosophy behind the report which The Times, in July 1948 commented treated the individual 'as a citizen, not as 'pauper', an object of charity'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies 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 University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies essays

  1. Report on the Hunting Ban Act. This report aims to assess in great ...

    to 68 (The Guardian 2005 Appendix 1), and the forthcoming general election prevented the issue from going further. In 2002, the Labour government proposed another Hunting Bill, which caused the 'Liberty and Livelihood' march by the CA (Anderson 2006 p722), and despite passing through the Commons, the bill failed in the Lords.

  2. Oats Reader Report

    rang throughout legislation, which added to the building tension between the northern states and southern states. 17 - Andrew Jackson: Flamboyant Hero of the Common Man - By John F. Marszalek Andrew Jackson became a hero in the eyes of the American people because of his wild nature, military persona, and strong ignorance of authority.

  1. Why was there an increasing level of intervention by central and local government to ...

    The year 1900 saw the formation of the Labour Representation Committee and the beginnings of the Labour Party. Workers were now not only being increasingly franchised but also had their own political party. Furthermore in 1918 working women over thirty received the vote and by this time the Labour Party was polling 22% of the national vote.

  2. Explain how the concept of a social contract is fundamental to John Locke's political ...

    The right to revolution was an essential part of Locke's theory of social contract (Locke, 1988). Another important factor in Locke's social contract theory is the idea of consent. By entering into civil society the individual consents to submit themselves to the majority, and to abide by the rules and decisions of that majority (Locke, 1988).

  1. Account for the changing fortunes of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland in the period ...

    Each one of the aims of these nationalists would eventually be achieved, gradually undermining the position of the ascendant class, eventually removing their power entirely. The massive influence of nationalism in the last decades of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th motivated the Conservatives in their

  2. "War was the main engine of reform of government policies to tackle poverty during ...

    Furthermore rural unemployment had also risen sharply. The end of the war had signalled the removal of blockades, resulting in cheap food imports and the bankruptcy of many despairing farmers. The Whig government, increasingly aware of many growing pressures for change, instituted a series of enquiries the most important of

  1. The Beveridge report and the formation of the Welfare State.

    Spicker (2008) states the Elizabethan Poor law was a national act for England and Wales which aimed to provide a compulsory poor rate and provision for setting the poor on work. This act got reviewed and updated in 1601 and Townsend (1788)

  2. Summarise the principal differences between old and new Labour. Which section of the Party ...

    Earn influence in the European Union (E.U): one of the main policies which ?new Labour? intended to implement was to improve relations within Europe and obtain an influential role in the European Union (Redgrave, 2008). Within a short period of time, Tony Blair managed to change the Labour party

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