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The Liberal Reforms 2 How successful were the reforms? Higher History.

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1 The Liberal Reforms 2 How successful were the reforms? Higher History

2 Example Essay Questions To what extent did the Liberal Reforms improve the lives of the British people? Assess the impact of the Liberal Reforms on the lives of the British people. Your job is to explain how they helped people/ what remained a problem AKA success/ limitations

3 Theme of Essay not perfect The Liberal Reforms were not perfect – covered a wide range of problems and were limited in who they helped (not everyone) However, they were the widest range of reforms by any government at that time and show a change of emphasis away from laissez-faire and towards governments looking after the welfare of their people – it is this change in attitude by which their success must be judged Therefore, key points: 1. Very limited reforms. 2. But first time welfare reform was implemented so definitely a step in the right direction

4 Content of Essay In your essay you must show: 1. An understanding of the problems Britain faced. 2. What the Liberals did – details of legislation passed. 3. Strengths and limitations of reforms.

5 5 Big Problems facing Britain c Britain faced many problems caused by poverty at the beginning of the 20th Century, for example: Squalor – Each major town and city e.g. Glasgow, East End London had very poor and overcrowded housing that were filled with disease. Disease – Major epidemics of TB, Scarlet Fever, Polio, Rickets etc swept through the slums, most were caused by poverty.

6 5 Big Problems facing Britain c Want – Poverty was a major problem caused by a society where the working class faced low pay, long hours and lived on the margins( the poverty line) with no room for sickness, death, unemployment etc. Idleness - One of the main causes of poverty were caused by the lack of regular well paid work. Most jobs were seasonal or subject to periods of unemployment, as well as illness etc. If you did not work your family did not eat.

7 5 Big Problems facing Britain c Ignorance – There was compulsory education up to 13 but most schools were crowded and of poor quality. Education for girls was much worse than boys IMPORTANT POINT– little or nothing was done by the Liberal Government to help the problems of squalor, disease and ignorance which was a major limitation of the reforms

8 Reforms – Essay Plan We will study the Liberal Reforms under three headings:. Young 1. Young 2. Old 3. Workers

9 1.YOUNG - Children 1906 Education Act (School Meals) -Provided meals for needy children. -Compulsory education had shown up the evils of poverty, as children from the slums were too hungry to learn.

10 Analysis: Successes By 1914, 14 million school meals were being issued per week. This ensured that needy pupils were receiving one nutritious meal per day. Helped to tackle the evil of ‘WANT’, by helping needy children. Helped (slightly) to tackle the problem of ‘IGNORANCE’, as allowed children to learn without the distraction of hunger.

11 Analysis: Limitations In 1911 less than 1/3 of education authorities were providing the meals School meals were not made compulsory until 1914 – so until then education authorities could choose whether or not to introduce them Pupils were only receiving a nutritious meal on school days.

12 YOUNG - Children 1907 Education Act (Medical Inspections) -Medical inspections started at school, school nurses checked for lice, TB, rickets etc. -After 1912, education authorities could also provide free medical treatment.

13 Analysis: Successes Helped to identify if pupils had illnesses like TB and rickets. Advice (not treatment) given to parents (although few could act on advice as had no money!). Did establish how widespread diseases caused by poverty were. Therefore, helped to tackle the evil of ‘DISEASE’.

14 Analysis: Limitations Did little to cure disease, only identified the illness. Education authorities largely ignored the 1912 Act providing for free medical treatment.

15 Children’s Charter (Children’s Act) Brought together many past rulings to protect children from neglect eg. Banned under 16s from smoking/ drinking alcohol Set up juvenile courts/ borstals Probation officers employed to reduce re-offending in children

16 Children’s Charter Analysis Was the first time children had protection in the form of laws (none during Victorian times) Helped improve conditions for some children BUT Most parts of the charter very difficult to enforce

17 2. OLD - Elderly 1908 Old Age Pensions Act -Pensions for those 70 years + -Between 1 to 5 shillings per week (5p to 25p) -Could be collected at the post office.

18 Analysis: Successes By 1914 there were 970,000 claimants – their lives must have improved This was the first time that the government had taken care of the elderly population – a definite positive step This help was given as a right rather than as charity. Therefore, helped to tackle the evil of ‘WANT’.

19 Analysis: Limitations Pension age was too high, e.g. average life expectancy for working class men in 1900 was 51 (pension at 70) Payment was small – roughly ¼ of average wage. Lots of people were excluded, e.g. for immorality such as being a drunkard, having been in prison etc. If you had an income over 60p (12 shillings) a week, you were not entitled to a pension Seebohm Rowntree Seebohm Rowntree had identified the minimum acceptable income as being 35p (7 shillings a week) or 59p for a married couple – this shows the Liberals’ pension was nowhere near as generous as it should have been.

20 3. WORKERS –Unemployed and Sick health insurance 1911 National Insurance Act (Part 1) – health insurance -Introduced compulsory health insurance for workers in certain trades earning less than £160 per year (about 15m people) -The slogan was ‘9p for 4p’ – the employee paid 4p, the employer 3p and the state 2p to provide sickness benefit of 9p.

21 1911 National Insurance Act (Part 2) unemployment -Compulsory scheme of unemployment insurance for trades badly hit by periodic unemployment e.g. ship building, construction. -The worker, employer and the state made weekly contributions – if the worker fell out of work, he got 35p a week(7 shillings ) in benefit for up to 15 weeks in any year.

22 WORKERS - other Acts Introduced Labour Exchanges like modern day job centres to let unemployed find jobs- 400 established Miners 8 hour day – limited the time men were forced to work underground 1909 Trades Board act supposedly to protect sweated trade workers(textiles) by fixing minimum wages Shops Act 1911 limited working hours in shops, guaranteed shop workers a ½ day off per week.

23 Analysis: Successes The NI schemes were open to many workers – c.15m The state was finally recognising their responsibility to workers – not always the workers fault if they were ‘idle’. Therefore, helping to tackle the evil ‘WANT’. Labour exchanges showed further move away from Laissez-faire and enhanced government responsibilities to workers Labour exchanges not only paid unemployment benefits but advertised job vacancies in the area

24 Analysis: Limitations Health insurance only provided for the employee and not his family. An insured worker got 50p a week (10 shillings) but benefits only lasted 26 weeks Women received less (35p) Unemployment insurance only applied to 7 trades e.g. shipbuilding, construction and not others e.g. farming. The contributions (4p per week) may have contributed to poverty

25 Summary – were the reforms successful? Young Elderly Workers Act Good points Bad points Overall Success?

26 Conclusions How effective were the Liberal Reforms? Conclusions solve The Liberal Reforms were piecemeal (fragmented, disorganised) and limited at best and did not solve any of Britain’s major social problems at that time. The majority of the reforms were of limited value. Many areas were ignored – there was little done to improve health or education and nothing at all to improve housing. Poor Law and workhouses remained.

27 Some have made exaggerated claims that the Liberal Reforms were the beginnings of the welfare state. But the reforms were never intended to solve all of Britain’s problems or to set up a complete welfare system. limited reform Remember the Liberals were willing to introduce limited reform for a number of reasons, not a fully comprehensive welfare state

28 There were however many good points: There were however many good points: It was the first big example of a change in attitude by government away from the strict dogma of laissez-faire. Some help given to the poorest in society – e.g. School children. For the first time the rights of certain sections of society to protection was recognised – e.g. Elderly. It began the process of welfare reform and took it out of the domain of charitable works.

29 Winston’s Opinion “If we see a drowning man we do not drag him to the shore. Instead we provide help to allow him to swim ashore.”


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