Liberals Essay

2161 WordsMar 1, 20099 Pages
How effectively did the liberal government of 1906-1914 deal with the problem of poverty in Britain? This essay is going to outline how effectively the liberal government dealt with problems of poverty in Britain from 1906-1914. In January 1906 the Liberals came into power with a landslide victory and won 399 seats. When the Liberals first came into power the Prime Minister was Campbell Bannerman who believed in Old Liberalism which was laissez faire which meant leave alone and no state intervention. In 1908 Herbert Asquith came into power and he believed in state intervention. The investigations of Booth and Rowntree showed how extreme poverty was, the conclusion they came to was that 30.7% of people living in London were in poverty, the percentage of people living in poverty in York was also very high due to factors that were out with their control. There were five main social areas the liberals would pass acts to try and help them get out of poverty which was the young, old, sick, unemployed also employed. Before the Liberals came to power there was nothing for people in poverty it was ignored by the government they said it was peoples owns fault for getting so poor, when it most cases it wasn’t . Before 1906 the Conservatives had dominated politically. Conservatives believed in laissez faire but had passed some reforms but were very limited which meant nothing major had been done for people in poverty which was the majority of the population. Samuel Smiles was one of the most important people that believed in “Self-help”, he was famous for the book he published in 1859 called self-help. The idea of self-help was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. In Smiles’ book he said that with effort and positive thinking you could make anything possible. Smiles had warned the government that helping people too much will make them helpless and will rely on

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