Why the 1906-1914 Liberal Reforms Happened

Julia falconer
Mind Map by Julia falconer, updated more than 1 year ago
Julia falconer
Created by Julia falconer about 5 years ago


higher history Mind Map on Why the 1906-1914 Liberal Reforms Happened, created by Julia falconer on 13/04/2015.

Resource summary

Why the 1906-1914 Liberal Reforms Happened
1 National Efficiency
1.1 Britain no longer strongest industrial nation at the end of 19th Century and facing serious competition from countries like Germany
1.1.1 Germany's rapid industrialisation after 1850s - coal, iron, chemicals and railways
1.1.2 Bismarck introduced measures and laws - Accident Insurance Law: giving compensation to workers when ill or injured Germany's introduction of a welfare benefits and OAP system may have influenced a shift in attitudes in Britain
1.1.3 Believed that if health/education standards of workers continued to worsen in Britain, her position as a strong, industrial power would be threatened
1.2 Churchill voiced concern that part of the problem of the economic depression was the unemploymed were unaware of where to find new jobs.
1.2.1 This was an example of inefficiency which weakened Britain's industrial output
1.2.2 Labour exchanges (similar to the modern Job Centre) were opened for the first time by the Liberals in order to minimise the period in which a worker was unemployed
2 Social Research
2.1 end of 19th Century investigations revealed the true and, for the mostpart, unsuspected levels of poverty in Britain
2.1.1 These proved that poverty had problems which were, at this point, beyond control
2.2 Charles Boothe - a London Businessman - doubted the claims of socialists that 1/4 of the population lived in extreme poverty
2.2.1 1889 - he bublished is shocking results as 'Labour and Life of the People.' which highlighted that 35% of LDNs population were living in extreme poverty which was much worse than socialists claims
2.3 Seebohm Rowntree was inspired by Boothe's work - decided to compare poverty levels across Britian to those in London
2.3.1 Published 'Poverty, A Study of Town Life' -1901: revealed that almost 30% of York Population lived in extreme poverty Rowntree defined poverty very closely and drew up a 'poverty line' which was the least amount of money which a family was able to survive on DLG, president of Board of Trade, met Rowntree in 1907 and the two became close friends- Rowntree now had support in Parliament Both Reports provided politicians with evidence to suggest that no matter what people did and how hard they tried, they were still unable to lift themselves out of poverty, highlighting the need for help from their Government However The Gov was not particularly focused on addressing the social research which had taken place and did not appear as one of the most pressing concernes for the new Lib Gov.
3 Municipal Socialism
3.1 After Liberal Joseph Chamberlain became mayor of Birmingham in 1873, he used his influence in municipal politics in order to introduce a series of social reforms
3.1.1 Social improvements were carried out by Local Authorities and were paid for by a form of local taxation. The wealthy contributed most, but the poor gained the most benefit from improvements in their local areas Public parks were opened to provide fresh air and relaxation and libraries were opened to provide further education
3.1.2 As Birmingham's water was a danger to public health and piped water was on supplied 3 days a week, Chamberlain purchased the water and gas works and cleaned them of sewage Chamberlain left Birmingham "parked, paved, gas and watered and improved."
3.2 For the first time, British people began to stray from the 'Laissez-faire' attitude
3.3 However: Although cities spent money on improving services, as late as 1886 Glasgow still had 1/3 of its families living in one roomed houses
3.3.1 A great deal of people still believed in 'laissez-faire', particularly the wealthy who were not keen on giving their money away in order to help aid the poor or to benefit anyone living in small communities Although the Loval government made a lot of communal improvements, the national Government did not take much notice of this and the politicians were unlikely to change their actions due to these demonstrations
4 Political Reasons
4.1 from 1884, the majority of w/c males had the right to vote, and most votes tended to go to the Liberal party
4.2 By 1906, The Labour Party was gaining more popularity and strengthening in support, attracting w/c voters due to their demands for welfare reform
4.3 'New Liberalism' had come to light by 1906, which was an incentive for the liberal reforms
4.3.1 David Lloyd George, Churchill and Asquith were new Liberal politicians who began to argue that in British society there were particular issues which required state intervention It seemed that without these new Liberal politicians who were prepared to do something in order to ease British poverty, little, to none, changed would have occured at this time in Britain. Therefore, it could be argued that the issue of poverty could no longer be overlooked due to the existence of Liberal politicians who had government power. However, there were very few of these 'new liberals' and their ideas and they themselves were 'new' to the political scene Similarly, none of the reform ideas were included in the 1906 Liberals manifesto The reforms were not passed out of genuine concern for those who lived in poverty, but rather as a means for political advantage - the Liberals simply wished to keep the w/c votes
5 National Security
5.1 The Boer War had a series of alarming effects on Britain and highlighted several issues in British society
5.1.1 Almost 25% of Volunteers for the British army wer rejected due to being physically unfit to fight. This figure was even higher among those who came from industrial cities The question of whether Britain could survive a war and protect her Empire successfully was now arising among the British Public
5.2 An Interdepartmental Committe on Physical deterioration was created in order to exam the issue of ill health in England and Wales, and in Scotland a Royal Commission did the same task
5.2.1 1904 suggestions about improving diet and offering free school meals and medical exams to all children were made after reports highlighting the very poor physical condition of many adult males
5.3 The British Government was well aware of the growth of Large European armies, particularly Germany who had began to over-take her in power
5.3.1 However, whether these effects mounted to a turning point for British Politics is debatable
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