absolutely everything on britain 1900s

literaly everything you need to know on this topic :) ta ddaaaaa

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What was Britain like in 1906?
What did British people think about Britain?
1. They thought Britain and its empire was the most powerful country in the world.
a. ¼ of all the people in the world were ruled by Britain.
b. Owning an empire was good and expanding the empire was good. This was called
Imperialism.
2. Britain was a top industrial country.
3. Trade was vital to Britain.
What changes had happened to Britain?
1. The population had gone up from 10 million 1750 to 42 million.
2. There were more towns.
a. In 1801 there were 16 towns with more than 20,000 living there.
b. By 1901 there were 160 towns with 20,000 people living in them.
c. Most people now worked in towns, not on farms.
i. Only 9% of people now worked on farms.
d. Most people now lived in towns, not villages.
i. This meant living conditions were bad.
3. Transport was changing:
a. Horse drawn vehicles were the most common form of transport.
b. There were few cars.
c. Most towns had electric trams by 1905.
What were people's lives like?
The rich
1. 3% of people were rich and earned £700 a year.
2. They employed lots of servants to do most of the domestic work (looking after the home),
a. Servants were not paid much so the rich were able to employ lots of servants
i. A maid's wages might be 25p a week.
b. This meant that the rich had lots of leisure time.
3. They went to public school, then university and often owned several homes:
a. A country house for the hunting season,
b. A London house for the ball season and for society events
c. A Scottish house for the shooting season.
4. They often spent the winter abroad.
5. Life expectancy was 52 years and up.
6. All men had the vote.
The middle classes
1. 9% of people were middle class.
2. They earnt from £150-£700 a year.
3. They could employ one or two servants.
4. Middle class people were shopkeepers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, teachers etc.
5. They went to a small public school or a grammar school.
6. They usually lived in a large house in the suburbs (richer areas on the edge of towns and cities).
7. Most took a month' holiday by the sea.
8. Life expectancy was 41 years and up.
9. Almost all the men had the vote.
The working class.
1. 88% of people were working class.

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Page 2

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They earnt £78 a year or £1.50 a week.
a. Women earned much less.
3. Rowntree found out that in York, 40% of people earned less than this so they were living in poverty.
We say they lived below the poverty line.
4. They had to spend most of their money on rent and food. This did not leave them much money left
over.
5. They went to the local school until 12. Then they worked for long hours for low wages.
a.…read more

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In an election the person who wins the most number of votes in a constituency becomes MP.
4. The party with the most MPs becomes the government.
Who were the main parties in 1900?
The Conservative Party and the Liberal Party were the main parties. There was also a small new party, called the
Labour Party. This gradually became more important.
In 1900 Britain was fighting the Boer War 1899-1902. The Conservatives won the 1900 election.
The Conservatives
1. Rich people usually voted for them.…read more

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What were the Victorian Attitudes to being poor?
The Victorian attitude to being poor was that people were poor because it was their own fault: they were
lazy, did not want to work and the poor spent all their money on gambling and drink.
They brought in a law called the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 to deal with poverty.
Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
1. All able bodied people (people who were fit enough to work) had to go live in the Workhouse.
2.…read more

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Class B. Casual earnings. People who worked when they could get a job. 11.25%
c. Class C. Occasional earnings. People who were paid less or lost their job when the economy
was bad. 8%.
d. Class D. Low Wages. 14.5%.
4. He discovered 85% of the poor had low wages.
Salvation Army
1. This was started by William and Catherine Booth in London.
2. Its aim was to go out and help the poor.
3. By 1878 it had 45 branches.
4.…read more

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To get elected
1. The Conservative Party had already made the Unemployed Workmen's Act 1905 to help people
who were unemployed.
2. This would probably get them lots of votes from the working class.
3. If the Liberals wanted to get elected then they would have to help people more than the
Conservatives had done.…read more

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What did the Liberals do to help the poor?
Helping children
1. Local Councils could give poor children free school meals from 1906.
a. 1914, 14 million free schools meals were eaten.
b. This law was not compulsory.
c. Only half of all councils set up a school meals service
2. Local Councils had to set up a school medical service from 1907.
a. From 1912 this included treatment as well as checkups in schools.
b.…read more

Page 8

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You paid a sum of money called a premium to these regularly.
b. In return, they gave you insurance.
c. Not everyone could afford to pay these premiums though.
2. The government made the National Insurance Act 1911. This dealt with Sick Pay and
Unemployment Benefit. These were compulsory (you had to join) and contributory (you had to put
money in).
Sick Pay
1. Everyone that earnt less than £160 a year had to join.
2.…read more

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Women had more job opportunities. Many worked as teachers, shop workers, secretaries
etc
c. All women went to school and it was becoming more common for middle class women to go
onto university.
d. Women gained more control over their lives. E.g. the Married Woman's Property Act said
they could keep their own money and property.
2. Some MPs had changed their minds and thought women should be allowed to vote.
3. Many men agreed with women being given the vote.
4.…read more

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Eva Gore-Booth persuaded 67,000 textile workers in the north of England to send a petition
to parliament 1901-2.
What methods did the Suffragists use?
1. They believed in peaceful methods. They:
a. Tried to persuade MPs to give them the vote.
b. Gave out leaflets.
c. Organised petitions.
d. Set up meetings to get support.
e. At every local and national election asked MPs what their position was on women getting
the vote.
How successful were the Suffragists?
1.…read more

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