- Created by: emms1903
- Created on: 16-01-20 18:43
Start of 20th century Britain government belived in Laissez-faire argument.
Only help available was Poor Laws which provided some help but only to those with serious illnesses.
Concerns Over Poverty
Charles Booth published the book 'Labour and Life of the People' in 1889 about his research into poverty in London. Showed that 35% of people living in London were living in extreme poverty and that action from the government must be taken. Research not taken seriously and he was not listened to until First Reform Act 1906.
Seebohm Rowntree published the book 'Poverty, a Study of Town Life' about his research into poverty in York in 1901 and stated that the root of poverty was unemployment, old age and illness. Showed upper class and government that it was not the persons fault if they were in poverty and things could be done to help. Was hard to change opinions of upper class and to make the government realise they would have to spend money to help them.
Fears Over National Security and Efficiency
During the Boer War, 1/3 of the men that enlisted were rejected for being unfit for service. Highlighted to the government the conditions people were living in and how it affected Britain's 'fighting stock' and this would need to be improved to help keep Britain safe.
In 1904 to investigate poor health in England and Wales the Interdepartmental Committee on Physical Deterioration was created. Showed the government were willing to help and realise poverty wasn't the persons fault, set up the Childrens Provision of Meals Act to nourish children and help them focus at school. Report helped children the most and not workers or the elderly and although overcrowding was shown as a factor not much could be done about that as many families couldn't afford better housing which Rowntree had identified as being a root of poverty.
Local authorities began to take taxes from local residents to help improve the areas they lived in as in Birmingham, Joe Chamberlain put in gas and water works and replaced slums with better housing. Showed government intervention could work on a large scake and helped improve peoples health, their housing conditions and gave towns essential supplies which helped decrease disease and poverty. People became annoyed that they weren't getting to keep all the money they had worked for as they had to pay taxes and this wasn't implemented in every town.
Rise of New Liberalism
The Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George and the Board of Trade, Winston Churchill were all New Liberals. All influencial people who could make issues like poverty be taken seriously and force to change happen.
More working class men now beginning to vote for Labour and Liberals needed a way to win back votes. Led to the Liberals passing many new acts and reforms for the working class like the First Reform Act in 1906, gaining the Liberals popularity.