The State of the Nation

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  • The State of the Nation
    • In the general election of 1906, the Liberal Party won a landslide victory.
    • At the beginning of the twentieth century Britain was one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Many had a high standard of living with comfortable accommodation and food, but others were not so lucky as there was no welfare state.
      • Welfare state is when the state supports the needs and wellbeing of its citizens.
        • So the Liberal government decided to take steps to help the young, elderly, sick and unemployed.
      • In 1903 Charles Booth's survey showed that a third of Londoners lived below the poverty line and that there was a correlation between poverty and early death.
        • Many of the impoverished citizens ended up in workhouses. Conditions were so hard that only the most desperate entered them.
          • Families were split up, clothing was basic and work was long and highly tedious.
      • Seebohm Rowntree found that 43% of York's population were below the poverty line.
      • When the government needed volunteers to fight in the Boer War in 1899, 40% of the recruits were unfit for military service.

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