Liberal Reforms 1906 Higher History Essays

Presentation on theme: "Liberal Reforms Motives Essay"— Presentation transcript:

1 Liberal Reforms Motives Essay
Higher History

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.

Presentation on theme: "Higher History Britain: The Motives of the Liberal Reforms"— Presentation transcript:

1 Higher History Britain: The Motives of the Liberal Reforms
Why did the Liberals introduce their reforms ?

2 We are learning to… Explain why the Liberals introduced a series of reforms between 1906 and 14 I can… Build up notes on the topic Plan a 20 mark essay Pass a 20 mark timed essay


4 Background (for intro)
Prior to 1906, there was almost no help available for poor people in BritainThe liberals had always had a ‘laissez-faire’ style of government – not interfering in peoples’ livesThe only limited help available for those in poverty was the ‘Poor Law’ which was means testedThis usually resulted in people being put in a workhouse (poorhouse in Scotland) where conditions were horrendous – 90% of people refused this optionCharities such as Barnardos, the Salvation Army and the YMCA offered what help they could to people but demand was too great for them to help everyoneFrom 1906 the Liberal government introduced welfare reforms (changes in the law) to offer more help to the poor

5 What were the MOTIVES for the Liberal Reforms 1906-1914?
When the Liberals were elected in 1906, there had been no mention of introducing social welfare reform in their manifesto.So why did the Liberal Reforms like free school meals and pensions get introduced?There were 5 factors/ motives for reform

6 The arguments for the introduction of Liberal Reforms ‘The Factors’
1. Surveys of Booth and Rowntree 2. Fears over National Security/ Efficiency 3. Fear of the Labour Party 4. ‘New Liberalism’ 5. Municipal Socialism

7 1. Booth & Rowntree - Knowledge
At the end of the 19th century two social surveys were published that not only shocked the British public but changed popular opinion on the causes of poverty.Charles Booth was a London Businessman who carried out his survey in the East End of London and published his results in 1899 Life and Labour of the People of LondonHis book showed that 35% of London’s population lived in extreme poverty, that poverty was so bad that only the government could help and that if nothing was done, Britain was on the brink of a socialist RevolutionSeebohm Rowntree published his study of York to identify if the problem of poverty was as bad in the towns of BritainHe found that 30% of York’s population lived in poverty, that there was a ‘poverty line’ of the basic minimum amount a family needed to survive and that there were certain times that individuals were more likely to fall into poverty – most importantly old age

8 Charles Booth “The survey into London life and labour”.
Click on image to view video clip.

9 Seebohm RowntreeFirst York study (1899).Click on image to view clip.

10 Findings of the Surveys
Their findings agreed on some key points:Up to 30% or almost 1/3rd of the population of the cities were living on or below poverty levels.The conditions were such that people could not pull themselves out of poverty by their own actions alone.Poverty was not self inflictedBooth and Rowntree both identified the main causes of poverty as being illness, unemployment and age - both the very young and the old were at risk of poverty.

11 Social Surveys: Analysis
Analysis (basic)This shows that politicians now had statistical evidence to which showed that no matter how hard people tried, they could not lift themselves out of poverty and the government would need to act to help themIn addition, the surveys helped promote the idea of a ‘deserving poor’ those who were trying to lift themselves out of poverty which was an important theme of the liberal reforms and started to break down old ideas that poor people were lazy, ignorant and squandered their money

12 Social Surveys: Analysis
However, it is important to remember that there were many people, MPs included, challenged the surveys and still believed that poverty was not widespread and that poor people wasted their money on alcohol and gambling which caused them to be poorIn addition, poverty in rural areas was ignored by the surveys as they focussed only on inner-city areas like London and York

13 2. Fears over National Security/ Efficiency
The Boer War ( ) – National securityBritain became involved in a war in South Africa, which was part of the British Empire at the timeThe government became alarmed when almost 25% of potential volunteers were rejected on the grounds of ill healthThis figure was even higher when it came to the industrial cities like ManchesterThis was greatly alarming as the British Army should have been able to protect the country against enemies far stronger than the Boers.

14 Germany and National Efficiency
It was felt that countries like the USA and especially Germany were pulling ahead of Britain.Liberal politicians like Winston Churchill and Lloyd George had visited Germany (Britain’s main rival) and were impressed by the effects on the nations health by the range of welfare benefits the German government had introduced – e.g. pensions and free school meals.Germany had introduced reforms like pensions and school meals since the 1880sLloyd George warned after his visit that British young men could not compete with those in Bismarck’s Germany and that young unemployed men did not know where to find work in Britain

15 National Security & Efficiency: Analysis
Analysis (basic)These concerns during the Boer War and over Germany were a definite motive for reform because if Britain did not have a fit and healthy workforce then they would not be able to compete in future wars such as the one looming with Germany or retain their status as ‘Great Power’The very earliest reforms in 1906/7 (free school meals and medical inspections) are generally considered a direct result of the fears over national security and efficiencyAnalysis (+)However many historians have challenged this view that politicians had any genuine concern for the welfare of the poor and instead wanted to pass reforms for political advantage – such as Churchill making a name for himself or the liberal party wanting to gain working class votes over Labour

16 3. Fear of Labour Party/Political Advantage
The Labour Party was newly established in 1900 and it was winning public support for its campaigns for social welfare policies, such as 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.They needed to offer something similar to woo the working class male votersThe Labour party already had the support of working males through it’s affiliation with the Labour party and this was a threat to the ruling Liberal party

17 Fear of Labour/ Political Advantage: Analysis
Analysis (basic)To counter the threat from the socialist and Labour movement, the Liberals realised that they had to introduce social reforms or risk losing political support from the working classes so they tried to ‘buy off’ voters with smaller reforms to avoid bigger ones e.g. offered pensions but raised the age limit to 70 years old.Analysis (+)However many historians have pointed out that the Liberals cannot have been truly worried by the Labour promises otherwise they would have matched or bettered the Labour party by offering pensions earlier Labour party were still very small in 1906 (29 seats) so probably did not pose a threat in terms of winning an electoral majority

18 4. New LiberalismOld Liberalism meant Laissez – faire; poverty as the problem of the individual and minimal state interventionA new type of Liberalism had emerged by 1906, and it was this ‘New Liberalism' which provided the inspiration for reform.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.They represented poorer areas – e.g. Lloyd George in Wales and Winston Churchill in Dundee.

19 New Liberalism - Analysis
Analysis (basic)This shows that ‘New Liberalism’ was becoming more influential within the ruling party due to the more modern and interventionist ideas of new Liberals like Churchhill and Lloyd George and the party was reforming from within and starting to believe that reform was necessary to help those in needAnalysis (+)However, historians have pointed out that the new Liberals were still vastly outnumbered by ‘old’ laissez-faire Liberals and it was only when ‘old Liberal’ Campbell Bannerman died in 1908 that the new Liberals were able to introduce their interventionist ideas

20 5. Municipal SocialismDuring the later 1800s the public had enjoyed the intervention when Local authorities had been taxing people and using the money to improve local areasThis showed people a basic socialist idea in practice – redistributing wealth – and it worked!It paved the way for the Liberals to introduce reforms which would obviously cost more money e.g. pensions

21 Birmingham – an example of municipal socialism
In 1873 Liberal Joseph Chamberlain became mayor of Birmingham and introduced many reforms thereBirmingham's water supply was polluted and only supplied 3 days a week; he bought the waterworks and ran it for the good of the peopleHe did the same with the gasworksHe cleared many slum housesOne report said he left Birmingham ‘parked, paved, gas and watered and improved’

22 Public parks were another example of municipal socialism; bought by local councils to provide fresh air and recreation for people i.e. in Glasgow city

23 5. Municipal Socialism - analysis
Analysis (basic)Improvements to towns and cities done at local level using taxes had shown people that municipal socialism worked; everyone was taxed dependent on income but the positive end result outweighed the taxationThis local socialism paved the way for similar reforms at national level and set a trend for social reform that the Liberals picked up on and continuedAnalysis (+)However, we must remember that the local model was not able to change the minds of everybody in terms of government intervention. There remained huge opposition in Britain to the idea of taxing the wealthy more to provide for the poor – particularly from the upper classes and middle classes who resented losing out financially to provide for the needy

24 Main Liberal Reforms1906 Free School Meals – 14 million per week being issued by 1914.1907 Medical Inspections Act – medical inspections given at school1908 Old Age Pensions – 25p per week for those 70+ (1/4 average wage).1911 National Insurance I – sickness benefit for poorer workers – e.g. paid for doctor and medicine.1911 National Insurance II – gave unemployment insurance to half a million poorly paid workers or those in seasonal employment.

25 ConsolidationA good idea when you have taken all your notes for a topic is to create a condensed revision guide for the essayThis might be a mind map, picture map, bullet points etc. but should fit on one pageDo this for homework

26 Essay QuestionsThe Liberals motives is an example of an isolated factor essay – this means the SQA will ask you whether women got the vote because of a specific factor (one of the 5 we cover)You must talk about the factor in the question BUT you do not need to agree it is the most importantExamplesHow important were fears over national security and efficiency in the Liberal government’s decision to introduce social reforms, ?How important was fear of the labour party/ political advantage in the Liberal government’s decision to introduce social reforms, ?How important was the rise of new liberalism in the Liberal government’s decision to introduce social reforms, ?

27 Introduction – 3 step plan
Background (2/3 sentences – describe Britain’s help/ lack of help for poor before reform)Before the Liberal Reforms…Factors (what are the factors in the essay?)There were many motives for the liberal reforms such as… (1 in question 1st) (a list is fine)Argument (what will you be arguing is most important?)It can be argued that the most important factor was …because…

28 Conclusion – 4 step planIn conclusion, there were many reasons why the Liberals introduced reforms.On the one hand… (you should take one key factor here and explain why it was important)On the other hand… (now you should do the same with another key factor to balance your argument)Overall, the most important factor was… (keep your strongest until last, backing up why it is so important and it should be clear why it outweighs the other factors)

29 Example question – specimen paper
How important were the social surveys of Booth and Rowntree in the Liberal government’s decision to introduce social reforms, ? 20 marks Practice essay due Thurs 23/4.

30 Liberal Motives – timed essay
How important was the idea of municipal socialism in the Liberal government’s decision to introduce social reforms, ?20 marks

31 EvaluationA good way to approach trying to get the final 4 marks for evaluation is to take your factors (5 in this case) and rank them from most important to least importantTry to come up with a reason Why each is in that place (not why it is important but why it is more or less important)A priority diagram can be a good technique to use – try to relate every factor back to your most important

32 Factor 1Factor 2Factor 3Factor 4

33 EvaluationE1 and E2 - 2 marks can be gained from making evaluative comments which relate to individual factors Example – Upon evaluation, ______ was the most/least important factor in the introductions of reforms because... NB – You must be saying something new in your evaluation, not repeating your analysis or doing ‘mini conclusions’

34 Evaluation +E+ - up to 4 marks can be gained from making evaluative comments which show the relative importance between factors (i.e. you compare two) Example – Upon evaluation, the fears of national security were more important than ______ in the Nazis staying in power because... NB – You must be saying something new in your evaluation, not repeating your analysis or doing ‘mini conclusions’ Remember analysis is really tricky and many candidates get 0/4 but still get an A!

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