Why Did The Liberals Reform Between 1906-1914?

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On one hand the Liberals brought in reforms for necessity. Some historians think negatively about the reasons for Liberal reforms. For example, the want to help poor working classes wasn’t due to a genuine desire to help but to oppose the rise of Labour. Another negative viewpoint of Liberal reforms concern the improvements of lives of children. Some argue that this in fact was to build a bigger, the economy can be seen not as a genuine desire to help unemployed and sick but to challenge Germany. On the other hand there were genuine reasons for the Liberal reforms. There was a real urge to move away from ‘laisse faire’ to a more interventionist approach. Politicians such as Herbert Asquith, Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill, all want to help the poor. The Liberals reformed because of necessity. Some historians think the liberal reforms were out of self interest. The working classes votes were very important to the liberals. That was granted in 1867 and 1883. In 1906 there was a new party called the Labour party. If the liberals wanted to be seen as a political force they had to be known for helping poor and working class people. A pessimistic viewpoint is that the Liberals, for pragmatic reasons, were intent on helping the poor. On the other hand, the Liberals weren’t reacting to Labour. In actual fact the Labour party wasn’t a political force to be reckoned with at this time. John. A. Kerr states ‘the labour party was happy to support the non-contributory old age pensions scheme started in 1908, the party was less keen on the social reforms of the liberals.’ The liberals had effectively brought the Labour party on side with something called the lib/lab deal. This meant that a labour party wouldn’t take away voters from liberal in a contest with the conservatives in an election campaign. The Labour party in the 1920’s because a force to be reckoned with.
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