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Why did the liberal government introduce reforms to help the young, old and unemployed?
By 1890, the conservative government had reduced hours of work and improved working conditions; they
had begun cleaning out the slums. They made sure that most houses had piped water and were connected
to a sewage system.
Reason 1: Work of the Social Reformers
Seebohm Rowntree's study of York, 1901, found that 28% of the population did not have the minimum to
live on at some time in their lives.
Reason 2: The Boer War
When Britain went to war in 1899, the army found that 2/3 of the men who volunteered were unfit for
combat. They were too short, as they were mal-nourished, which led to stunted growth. They were illiterate
so were unable to read orders. Also, they were near starving, with no muscle and were no good at physical
Reason 3: Germany
Germany had a good system of state welfare for workers. They made sure that their population were fit to
work, healthy and literate, making their industry more efficient. Due to this, Germany was passing Britain as
a great industrial power.
Reason 4: Growth of Trade Unionism
There were many strikes, between 1910-12, which led to politicians fearing that unless the standard of
living increased for workers the country may face communist rebellions. Also, there were many socialist
movements in France at the time- causing problems for their politicians- which the British didn't want to
Reason 5: The Labour Party
The newly formed Labour was focusing its attention on the working class voters, who had just received the
right to vote, but were still being treated as an unimportant minority by the conservative party, even
though they were a majority. The Liberals realised that there was a high demand for welfare reforms,
therefore they included it in their policy in order to gain more support.
Reason 6: The Liberal Party didn't get a majority
The Liberals were in a coalition with Labour, so needed to gain support from voters in order to guarantee
their re-election in the next general election.
Reason 7: Politicians
Many politicians come from poorer backgrounds, including some very influential people, such as Lloyd
George and Churchill. These people were determined to "wage war" against poverty in order to help those
people in the position that they used to be in.
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G X Y A C I N D U S T R Y E M Liberal
E L E C T I O N L G T S N E O Reforms
R F P J E O P S L I B E R A L Rowntree
M A V U N I O N I S M A E B A Poverty
A C N W O E L S L U F L F U B Germany
N I…read more
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Many Politicians wanted to "............. .............." on poverty.…read more