2 Essay TitleHow far were the reports on poverty produced by Booth and Rowntree responsible for the Liberal social reforms of ?
3 IntroductionIn the late nineteenth century, two social surveys were produced by Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree that highlighted the extent of poverty in Britain. The reports challenged the idea that poverty was self-inflicted and introduced the concept of the ‘deserving poor’. In turn, it is argued that the Liberal government moved away from the laissez-faire attitude and introduced social reforms between 1906 and 1914 to help the poorest sections of society. However, it is too simplistic to attribute the passing of the Liberal Reforms to social surveys alone. The Liberal Government had also been encouraged to pass the Reforms in order to improve national stock and efficiency. Recruitment for the Boer war had highlighted the poor health of the nation, with potential recruits being rejected on medical grounds. Fears that Britain was declining as a world power resulted in steps being taken to improve the quality of the workforce. In addition to humanitarian reasons, there were also political motives for passing the Reforms. The Liberals were aware of the potential of the new Labour party to attract its working class voters with promises of widespread Socialist reforms. New Liberalism involved junior members of the Liberal party breaking with the policies of the 19th Century so appealing to the new working class voters and increasing their standing within the party.
4 1. Booth and Rowntree Reports Give some facts about findings of reports. (KU)Can see results in legislation passed – pensions, school meals and National Insurance Acts helping the deserving poor.Analysis:- They showed how big the problem of poverty really was, over 30%, dispelling the idea that it was 3% and very few people were affected by it.- Showed real causes of poverty e.g. unemployment, old age, sickness etc. and that most of it was not self-inflicted as society had imagined. This was important in attacking the idea of laissez-faire government.
5 Analysis points - Surveys It was quite clear that the nation had been shocked by the extent of poverty, 30% of the population, meant that the new Liberal government had a mandate to introduce some welfare measures like free school meals, clearly out of genuine concern for the poor.Rowntree’s poverty line also demonstrated that most poverty was not self-inflicted this made the government & public more ready to accept some welfare reforms.
6 2. National Stock/Efficiency Boer War – 1/3rd recruits rejected as unfitFears of Britain’s decline as a world powerMain competitor Germany had introduced welfare reforms with positive resultsIn turn, led to legislation like free school meals & school medical inspections to improve health.
7 Analysis – National Efficiency - Not just reports of Booth and Rowntree that led to passing of Reforms – fears over Britain’s empire and trade led to efforts being made to improve the national stock with limited welfare reforms copied from Germany
8 3. Fear of Labour Party/Socialism Liberals was traditionally supported by working class especially in areas like Scotland, Wales, N England.New Labour Party was growing and was winning working class support for its campaigns for social welfare policies, such as old age pensions and unemployment benefits.Liberals introduced reforms based on Labour policies e.g. old age pensions.
9 Analysis – Fear of Labour/Socialism Political motives not to lose new working class male vote to Labour as well as humanitarian concerns resulted in Liberal Reforms.Was a genuine fear of socialism, if the Liberals did not pass some reforms then working class voters would turn to LabourLiberals tried to attract voters with limited reforms e.g. pensions set at age 70 to avoid more expensive reforms proposed by Labour e.g. pension age set lower so cover more of the elderly.
10 4. New LiberalismOld style Liberalism not appealing to working class voters – e.g. focus on Ireland, Free Trade and Empire.New Liberal politicians like Lloyd George & Winston Churchill had been impressed by welfare reforms in Germany.New Liberals also wanted to wrest control of the party from Old Liberals who they felt would lose support to Labour and the Conservatives.
11 Analysis-New Liberalism New Liberal politicians wanted to make a name for themselves. By pressing for reforms like pensions or free school meals they would get noticed by the public and increase their standing in the Liberal Party.New Liberals felt needed to introduce limited welfare reform to help their working class voters who in turn would continue to vote for the Liberal Party.
12 ConclusionAnswer the question first sentence= “Clearly a combination of humanitarian concerns and political motives that led to reforms”.Booth and Rowntree important – why? Sum up main KU & analysis.Go through each of the other motives give main KU point only and analysis.