Liberal Reforms Essay

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Rhiannon Phillips 5S Higher History Essay Question: To what extent did the Liberal reforms deal effectively with the problem of poverty? In the 1850’s economic depression was at it’s worst. Although Poor Law and charities had been created to deal with this difficult time, it was clear to see that they were unable to cope with the pressure and the growing number of unemployed citizens and poor urban surroundings in Britain. At this time, most of the “well off” people of Britain felt that self-help was the only way to improving situations, and that if you were poor, ill or unable to help your self in some sort of way, then you had brought these bad things on for yourself. However, due to Social investigators reports from men such as Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree, on the extent of Britain’s poverty, and by bringing the Liberal government in to power in 1906, by the 1950’s, the government finally accepted responsibility for the well-being of all it’s citizens promising to care for them “from cradle to grave” by setting up a welfare state. A welfare state is a state with social services, which are state funded and controlled by the Government. These services aimed to protect society’s weakest members from birth to death. Beveridge described the welfare state as the provision of services for the prevention of “disease, squalor, want, idleness and ignorance”. At the end of the 19th century, investigators set out to prove to the government and the people of Britain, just how extreme the poverty of the country was becoming. There were many investigations but two investigations in particular had a big impact on politician’s opinions on poverty. The investigations often proved that poverty had causes that were most likely beyond the control of the poor themselves. The two

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