OCR History GCSE Revision notes

Here are my revision notes on Britain 1905-1918. Sorry for the blank pages.

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  • Created on: 17-06-11 13:04
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Britain 19051918
One government that is often seen as an example of 'reforming' by introducing positive changes that
really improve peoples' lives is the Liberal government in Britain of 19061914. Many historians label this
period the beginning of the welfare state, but why did the Liberal government introduce its reforms?
Important reforms summary
1901 A study of poverty by Seebohm Rowntree found that in a society where those who didn't work
didn't eat, there were three times in people's lives when they were especially vulnerable:
as a young child
when they were old
when they were sick or unemployed
After 1906 The Liberal government, with Lloyd George as Chancellor of the Exchequer, introduced
reforms to help these three groups:
1906 Local authorities were allowed to provide free school meals.
1908 Children and Young Persons Act introduced a set of regulations that became known as the
Children's Charter. This imposed severe punishments for neglecting or treating children cruelly. It was
made illegal to sell cigarettes to children or send them out begging. Separate juvenile courts were set
up, which sent children convicted of a crime to borstals, instead of prison.
Old age
1908 Pensions were introduced for the over 70s, which gave them 5s a week, or 7s 6d to a married
couple. Old people cried as they collected their pensions, and said: 'God bless Lord George'.
1909 Labour exchanges were set up to help unemployed people find work.
1911 National Insurance Act was passed. Part 1 of the act gave people the right to free medical
treatment, and sick pay of 10s a week for 26 weeks in return for a payment of 4d a week. Part 2 of the
Act gave people the right to unemployment pay (dole) of 7s 6d a week for 15 weeks in return for a
payment of 2½d a week.
Reforms and reasons
More reforms passed during this period:
1906 The Trades Disputes Act ruled that unions were not liable for damages because of strikes.
1906 The Workers Compensation Act granted compensation for injury at work.
1907 School medical inspections.

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The 1909 Budget to pay for the reforms, Lloyd George's 1909 budget raised duties on tobacco and
spirits, raised income tax by 16 per cent (from 1s to 1s 2d), and introduced a new 20 per cent tax on
profits from selling land.
3.…read more

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Many women, however, saw the vote as
the vital achievement that would give them a say in the laws affecting their lives.
The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies the Suffragists was formed in 1897 and led by
Millicent Fawcett. The group was made up of mainly middleclass women and campaigned peacefully.
The organisation built up supporters in Parliament, but private members' bills to give women the vote all
failed.…read more

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Why did women get the vote?
The Suffragettes
The Suffragettes caused a lot of anger and it has been argued that they had lost support for
their cause.
Women had not been given the vote by 1914, even after a lot of Suffragette violence.
Some historians argue that, although they could not be seen to give in to Suffragette violence,
politicians could not face a return to Suffragette violence after the war, and that is why they gave
women the vote.…read more

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Sylvia Pankhurst
June 1914 Sylvia Pankhurst took a delegation of working class women to a lobby Prime
Minister Asquith who did not think that working class women were intelligent enough to have the
This action by the women proved Asquith wrong.
The Suffragists
Some historians argue that the longterm persuasion of the Suffragists won the vote.
1916 Lloyd George replaced Asquith as Prime Minister. He supported the women's suffrage.…read more

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What grade did you end up with?

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