How effective were the liberal reforms between 1900 and 1914.

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How effective were the liberal reforms

Between 1900 and 1914 the British liberal government introduced the largest series of reforms ever completed by a government till that date. Prior to these reforms it was not considered the duty of the government to provide any form of relief for the poor and when the reforms were passed they were viewed as radical and amazing. Many conservatives considered them unenforceable and many radicals considered them far too small. Yet how effective were these reforms?

Prior to the reforms the only relief for children was either from charities or the workhouse, and many liberals claimed that the workhouses were worse than the conditions that many children had previously lived in. The first liberal reform for children was an act to allow schools to provide free school meals to those they felt needed them. This act meant that children would receive at least one meal a day and encourage them to attend school. The was voluntary though and many schools did not spend their budgets providing these meals. Only half of all schools set up these meal services. In 1907, the liberals introduced medical care to schools; this act meant that schools had to provide regular medical checks for children. These checks were extended to medical care in 1912. The liberals also banned the insuring of a child’s life.

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Before the reforms old people had to rely on their families or charity to avoid the workhouse or total poverty. The liberals introduced an old age pension for people over seventy years old and with no other income. They also introduced a married couples pension. Pensions were not a new thing but the most radical thing about these pensions was that they were entirely government funded. The pension was not incredibly large and the average working class person did not live to be 70 but for those who did the pension made them independent. In the year after the ...

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