Notes on both knowledge and argument points for WHY liberal reforms happened (BRITISH TOPIC- 20 marks essay template).


Reports of Booth and Rowntree: KNOWLEDGE POINTS

  • Investigations of living conditions were carried out and reports produced. For example, in 1901, Rowntree investigated living conditions in York and discovered 30% of the population lived in poverty. While in 1899, Booth had discovered 35% of London lived in poverty.
  • The reformers came up with the idea of a basic minimum needed for survival. They also identified causes of poverty, and that the indiviuals weren't to blame- usually due to unemployment and low pay.
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Reports of Booth and Rowntree: ARGUMENT POINTS

  • The work of social reformers provided evidence for liberal politicians to argue that the state ought to take responsibilty for solving structural problems.
  • Moreover, social investigations suggested intervention was needed because poverty was not confined to big cities, like London, but also in smaller ares of countryside- proving poverty was now a national problem.
  • However, social reformers' reports only provided limited data and their recommendations had no legal force, therefore failing to convince many conservative politicians. 
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Concerns over National Security: KNOWLEDGE

  • From 1899, Britain was involved in a war against the Boers in South Africa, which was part of the British Empire at the time. As a consequence of a series of defeats, many believed that Britain's power could be challenged. 
  • Furthermore, when recruits were sought, over a quarter of those who volunteered were rejected on grounds of being unfit for military service. Many people questioned Britain's ability to survive a war. 
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Concerns over National Security: ARGUMENT

  • Threats to the Empire prompted politicians tp seek improvements to the armed forces to ensure Britain secured its position worldwide.
  • This meant understanding more clearly why so many volunteers were unfit. Poverty was now not only a social problem, but also a matter of Britain's international interests and self-defence. 
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Concerns over National Efficiency: KNOWLEDGE

  • Britain was competing industrially with stronger industrial nations such as Germany, but if Britain's level of health and education firther declined their position as a strong industrial power would be threatened.
  • Unemployment was also rising- an example of inefficiency weakening Britain's industrial output. Thsi forced liberals to open labour exchanges to minimise the time a worker is unemployed, therefore increasing efficiency. 
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Concerns over National Efficiency: ARGUMENT

  • Prompted politicians to understadn Britain was not using all its resources due ti workers not being able to find work. Labour exchanges were introduced as a result, to solve this issue and to increase Britain's industrial output in order for Britain to remain a strong industrial power. 
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Political Advantage: KNOWLEDGE

  • Many people believed reforms were passed for political advantage rather than to helo the poor. In 1907, the Liberals lost two by-electrons and in panic, believed that if they didn't over new reforms, socialism would be evident.
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Political Advantage: ARGUMENT

  • Social reforms seemed more likely and were more common due to competition between parties who were attempting to gain votes. This could be seen as responsible for the most reforms pasted by the Liberals as they fought to gain votes over Labour.
  • The politicians were therefore becoming increasingly aware of what the public needed and wanted as they sought ways to improve and impress the people, bringing Britain one step closer to social reform. 
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New Liberalism: KNOWLEDGE

  • By 1906, the Labour party were competing with the Liberals for votes.
  • David Lloyd George (Chancellor of the Exchequerand Winston Churchill had recently been appointed top jobs within Government, and, as a result,  social reforms under their control were implemented.
  • New Liberals believed state intervention was necessary to liberate people from social problems beyond their control. 
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New Liberalism: ARGUMENT

  • People were becoming incresingly accustomed to the idea of state intervention, meaning that reforms were welcomed by an increasing number of people as they saw the state fit to take on the responsibility of Britain's wealth.
  •  This meant many people became reliant on government intervention, and it was therefore needed to help those who couldn't help themselves.
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Effect of Municipal (local) System: KNOWLEDGE

  • Public works schemes to improve living conditions and public health had been established in the late 19th century. The socialist idea of redistributing weath between rich and poor was increasingly common. 
  • People were beginning to become accustomed to increasing levels of local intervention in their lives. Local taxation was used to improve the lives and heath of people in local areas. 
  • For example, in 1873, as mayor of Birmingham, Joseph Chamberlain attempted to rid Birmingham of anything considered as a health risk, while in cities, authorities invested in imroving public services, eg hospitals were established. 
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Effect of Municipal System: ARGUMENT

  • As Britain became increasingly accustomed to state intervention, the result was the state then invested more into the improvement of poeple's  as the trend for social reforms and government control dominated Britain and encouraged further reforms. 
  • Across Britain there was national pressure to reform as local governments pushed the state to change, therefore prompting the state to encourage social reforms.
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