British Depth Study

Set of revision cards for those studdying the history of Britain in depth study.

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  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 24-05-11 16:12

Course Content

How was British society changed 1890-1918?

1. Liberal Welfare reforms

Key Questions

  • What were working and living conditions like for the poor in the 1980's?
  • How were social reformers reacting to the social problems of the 1980's?
  • Why did the Liberal Government introduce reforms to help the young, old and unemployed?
  • How effective were these reforms?
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Investigating Poverty: Social Reforms

Charles Booth

  • He decided to find out about the poor in London by collecting information
  • 31% of the population lived in poverty
  • He believed that 85% of the poor were poor due to low wages (not their fault)
  • Divided the poor into four groups

The four groups

  • Undeserving poor: Criminals, lazy, beggars
  • Casual Earners: Part time labourers, lone women
  • Occasional earners: hit by job losses
  • Low wages: dockers, gas workers
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Investigating Poverty: Social Reforms

Seebohm Rowntree

  • Investigated poverty in York
  • He decided a family could live off 21 shillings and 8d
  • Created a poverty line
  • 28% of York were living in poverty caused by different factors

The Factors of Poverty

  • Unemployement or casual work
  • Low wages
  • Illness or old age
  • Death of the chief wage earner
  • Largness of Family
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Why the liberals introduced the welfare reforms


  • Like many Liberals, David Lloyd George believed the rich should help the poor
  • He thought that the rich should be taxed to help raise money to look after the poor
  • He was able to persuade others of this point of view, however many rich people thought that it was a disgrace and that they were being robbed
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What were the reforms?


  • 1906: Education Act passed. This allowed local councils to provide free school meals so children would work better
  • 1907: Forced to provide check ups, however no treatment was provided
  • 1908: Children and Young Persons Act
  • Young people were made 'Protected Persons' which meant parents could be prosecuted for mistreating their children

Old People

  • 1909: OAP act
  • Anyone over 70 and not working given 5 shillings per week
  • Not very much money and the age was too high
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What were the reforms?


  • 1911: National Insurance act introduced
  • Workers had to pay 4d out of thier wage
  • Employers had to pay 3d
  • Government added 2d
  • When workers were off sick, the money paid for medical care for three 13 weeks
  • Workers not happy as sometimes they would not see the money they pay in
  • Low wages as it is 


  • 1909: Labour exchange. If workers were short of work, they could go to the job centre and sign on
  • Jobs were short term and low paid
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Couse Content

2. Female Suffrage

Key Questions

  • What was the social, political and legal position of women in the 1890's?
  • What were the arguments for and against female suffrage?
  • How effective were the activities of the suffragists and the suffragettes?
  • How did women contrivute to the war effort?
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Arguments for and against womens suffrage


  • Could take part in local elections
  • Many women were educated whereas many uneducated men could vote
  • Women pay taxes just as men do
  • Women should be able to influence the MP's on what to spend money on
  • Just as clever as men
  • Same, if not more, responsibilities as men
  • Special skills of expertise
  • Improve womens lives


  • Many women had little interest in politics
  • Encourage women to develop careers and move away from the home and family duties
  • Women were too fragile and emotional (should be protected)
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Name: National Union of Womens Suffrage Societies

Formed: 1897

Leader: Millicent Fawcett

Tactics: Organised rallies, marches, speeches which were well organised. They wrote thousands of letters to MP's and asked questions at all the political party meetings about Women's Suffrage

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Name: Women's social and political Union

Formed: 1903

Leaders: Emmeline Pankhurts and Silvia and Christobel Pankhurst

Tactics: Disrupted political meetings and in 1908, Emmeline tried to barge into the house of commons. Many were arrested, sometimes deliberately, giving them maximum publicity. When in prison, they went on hunger strike. Emily Davison threw herself under the King's horse at a race in 1913

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