History Paper 2 British Depth Study

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Poverty: low life expectancy, elderly a burden, poor social mobility, poor sanitation, large families, no free healthcare, poor wage levels, high crime, malnutrition, poor education and literacy rates, high death rates, low life expectancy and unemployment (no benefits)

Improvements by 19th Century: conditions for workers improved, higher wages, afford luxuries, legislation for more safety at work and Government regulations and inspections.

Employment opportunities and conditions: worsened poverty as many worked in unregulated industry. There were not many employment opportunities with no benefits scheme (only manual labour) which no one wanted to do. Health was low so people could not work.

Christians in 1890 (Anglican Christian Social Union) prepared a whitelist of employers who paid and treated workers well; few passed the test.

Many believed the poor were poor due to alcoholism.

Liberal Reformers

John Galt

  • Raised awareness for the poor in East End of London

  • Deeply Religious

  • Missionary

  • Keen Photographer (First-hand evidence) images showed the life of the poor

  • Wanted to help improve the poor's lives by showing that they were human

  • Poor worked hard at low paid jobs leading to early death

Charles Booth

  • Successful business man (Owned Liverpool shipping lane)

  • Attended lectures, read pamphlets and reports about London poverty

  • Wanted to see if the reports were true

  • Found appaling conditions and grinding poverty

  • Poverty was worse than he expected and reports were not an exaggeration

  • Book showed 30% of London living below poverty line

Seebohm Rowntree

  • Head of a confectionery company in York

  • Social Reformer

  • Published a book in 1901 “Poverty; A Study of Town Life”

  • Wanted to insight social reforms through statistical analysis

  • Poverty caused by old age, illness and similar factors

  • Poor suffered from up and downs in trade cycles

  • In York, 27% lived under poverty line

  • state should safeguard its people

  • People shocked by his findings

Why did Liberals introduce their reforms?

Social Reformers: Rowntree had a great impact as he was a supporter all his life and was a friend of soon to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George in 1908. Rowntree asked to carry out a study in rural poverty in 1913 by the Liberal Government. Influenced Old Age Pensions Act and National Insurance Act. New attitudes: not the poor's fault they were poor, and Gov needed to support them.

New information about poverty: Other sources such as the Salvation Army portrayed a similar story to the reformers. So did the Government's civil service. Local authorities began to provide clean water, education, healthcare and other services.

Scale of the Problem: The poor died much earlier, life expectancy was about 45 (70 today) and 163/1000 died. Poor class was so small. They were also small and underweight. Britain like developing world today. But Britain had never been richer, more millionaires than ever. Top 10% owned 92% of wealth

The Boer War: 1899-1902 Britain defending southern african territories. Half of volunteers unfit for service some areas up to 69%! Army had to lower minimum height.


Piers Robinson

some are meant to be in tables sorry, if you want the word document- contact me


Could i get it in a word document please ?

Miss E

Excellent document with all of the key points needed for this topic and usefully colour-coded, bullet-pointed and summarised ready for revision. Essential if you are studying 1890-1918 British Depth Study.




Absolutely brilliant, you've put a lot of work into this and you've helped me a treat, cheers buddy

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