Ppts on liberal reforms pupils blog

Liberal Reforms 1906 1914
1. Amount Of Poverty
19th century attitudes to poverty
• People believed poverty was a sign of
personal weakness, as a result of
idleness or genetic inheritance.
• Poor were treated as semi criminals and
blamed for their own misfortune.
• ‘Self help is the root of all genuine
• Norman Pearson said poor people were:‘seldom capable of reform’
Charles Booth
• Charles Booth discovered
that almost 30% of
London’s population was
extremely poor.
• The reports of Charles
Booth and Seebohm
Rowntree provided
politicians with evidence to
suggest that no matter how
hard certain people tried,
they could not lift
themselves out of poverty.
• Poverty was shown by the
reports to have causes, the
cures for which were
beyond the individual
efforts of the poor.
Changing Attitudes To Poverty!!
• It was becoming increasingly clear that the
poor could not deal with circumstances
beyond their control.
• The assumption that poverty was in some
way the fault of the individual was being
questioned more and more.
• The idea of ”laissez-faire” was being
• There was various charities that were set
up to help the poor.
2. National Stock &
National Security
KU: Concerns grew after Britain became
involved in a war in South Africa in 1899.
Army recruits were needed, however almost
25% of volunteers were rejected due to
being physically unfit to serve in armed
A: Politicians and the public were concerned
over whether or not Britain could survive a
bigger war when the ‘fighting stock’ of young
men were so unhealthy.
National Security
KU: In response an Interdepartmental
committee on Physical Deterioration was
created to examine the problem of ill
health in England and Wales.
A: The committee recommended in their
1904 reports that diets should be
improved and overcrowding should be
reduced. They also recommended free
examinations for school children (1912).
National Efficiency
KU: By the end of the 19th century Britain
was facing serious competition from new
industrial nations such as Germany.
A: Concerns grew over Britain's position
as a strong industrial power being
threatened and they needed a fit, healthy
workforce if they were to compete
against Germany.
National Efficiency
KU: The liberals opened the first labour
exchanges to minimise the time a worker
was unemployed.
A: This increased the efficiency of the
labour market which increased the
efficiency of the workforce.
• ‘If we see a drowning man we do not
drag him to the shore. Instead, we
provide help to allow him to swim ashore’
– Winston Churchill
• Churchill believed that the liberals were
trying reduce the unemployment to
provide permanent support rather than
temporary solution.
3. Fear of Labour and Socialist
A ‘New Liberalism’
• A new type of Liberalism had emerged
by 1906, and it was this 'new liberalism'
which provided the inspiration for the
• New Liberals, such as Lloyd George,
Winston Churchill and Herbert
Asquith, argued that there were
circumstances in which it was right for
the state to intervene in people's lives.
Winston Churchill
Popular Socialism
• The Labour Party had just been established and
it was winning public support for its campaigns
for social welfare policies (e.g. old age pensions
and unemployment benefits).
• The ruling Liberal Party recognised the threat
this new party posed to its traditional support
in many working class areas.
• To counter the threat from the socialist and
Labour movement, the Liberals realised that
they had to instigate social reforms or risk
losing political support from the working
'Gas and water socialism'
• Little groups were locally helping the poor so
Chamberlain purchased Birmingham's
waterworks and also the gas works as the water
supply was considered dangerous to public
• Public works schemes to improve living
conditions and public health had been
established in the late 19th century, often set
up and run by Liberals.
• These small, local schemes raised the
possibility of similar schemes being a success
on a national scale.
• This was a selfish motive by the
Liberals to stay in power
4. Political advantage and
New Liberalism
• KU- Labour was competing for the same
voters as the Liberal party.
• A- had to change attitudes to reach a new
type of voters.
• KU- ‘Old Liberal’ – poverty due to personal
defects of character
• KU- ‘New Liberal’ – state intervention was
• A- Liberals had no welfare manifesto, they
changed their attitudes to appeal to
working class voters
• KU- Liberalism was changing long before
the formation of the Labour Party in the
1900s. However, there were
disagreements over the extent of the
reform and some were wary about the
• A- The party was already changing in an
attempt to gain more working class voters
as the party had been out of power since
• KU- The Liberal Party began to control
local authorities and were deeply
involved in social welfare programmes
such as: parks, schools, libraries,
transport, water and gas supply.
• A- The party had already started to
introduce welfare reform at a local
level, financed by local taxation
• KU: By the second half of the 19th Century,
society was beginning to get used to
increasing levels of government
intervention with parties introducing laws
such as, the ‘Factory Acts’ and ‘Public
Health Acts’
• A- Public attitudes had changed and they
now expected increasing amounts of
government intervention, which led to the
‘cradle to the grave’ system.

similar documents