British Welfare Reforms Between 1880-1914

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After 1880 reforms were being introduced that began to improve Britain, many in particular by the Liberals from 1906 onwards. However was this happening for the benefit of the people and their humanitarian needs or was it just a tactical motive for those who were introducing the reforms?

During this period the condition of much of Britain was incredibly poor and something desperately needed to be done. Reforms such as extending the franchise in 1884-85 meant a process was beginning that gave a larger majority a voice as to who ran the country but not as to what actually happened. The governments felt that they were improving conditions by introducing minor reforms however conditions had barely changed. Any reforms that involved the general public had to fight against a general anti interventionist society. Since the role of the individual had been a large part of life for many it was difficult to accept anything else. It was not until the turn of the century with the emergence of the Liberals that large change and further state intervention in Britain began to take place. It took until this time to realise that the Laissez Faire approach was not working.

Acts that were introduced by the Liberals addressed a complete range of society that included improving the next generation such as the Education Acts and the Children's Act of 1908. Lloyd George successfully managed to pass The Old Age Pensions Act in 1909 of which guaranteed an income to those that were too old to work. Before this the elderly were expected to survive on there own. Certain individuals like Lloyd George emerged with the new Liberal party and they did appear to have genuine concerns and cares for the lives of Britain's people. The influence of t...

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...ntries such as Germany and the USA. Britain's image of being the great dominant power of the world was being challenged. It was therefore incredibly important for the government to have a strong country. The outcome of this was that the people, as a nation were happier as a whole, reinforcing the thought of humanitarian concerns.

The purpose of any government is to provide for its people and so there needs to be an element of humanitarian concern. Whether this be the primarily reason for its existence is questionable. Reforms are needed to be imposed to have a strong and great country something that every government desires to have. The reforms that were introduced during this period were an attempt at growing government intervention, in the hope of improving Britain. In doing so the people were satisfied as well as the government having benefits also.
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