How Successful Were the Liberal Social Reforms in Dealing with Poverty in Britain from 1908-1914?

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In 1906 the Liberal government were being to realise the effect that poverty was having on the country as a whole including the Liberals ability to govern the country. Research carried out by reformers such as Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree influenced the Liberals and enlightened them to the state of poverty in our country. Looking at the research the Liberals saw that more than 30% of our population were living below the poverty line (that Booth had devised). From this they could clearly see that something needed to be done about this. The work of Booth and Rowntree had for the first time highlighted that fact that people were not in poverty just because they were lazy. The majority of the cases were caused by unemployment, sickness, old age, large families and low wages. The Liberals knew now if they were going to have a strong country and keep control of the country they needed to address this. They used data collected during 1905-1909 to come up with the Liberal reforms. During 1906-1914 the Liberals made a huge progress in beginning to deal with poverty but the reforms did not make a big a difference as first thought during this time so they were not completely successful in dealing with the issue of poverty. From 1906 to1908 the Liberals had put in place a number of reforms that would affect the British education system and help to start to protect children. These reforms included the School Meals Act which allowed schools to provide free school meals to children so they would get at least one decent meal a day. Although this act looked good on paper it was not a very effective act because the schools were allowed to choose if they gave the free meals or not as it was not enforced by law so by 1914 only half of education authorities were enforcing it. Due to this the overall this act did not have a massive influence on the poverty in the country.
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