How important were concerns about the extent of poverty in Britain in the Liberal Governments decision to introduce social reforms between 1906 and 1914?
Concerns about the extent of poverty in Britain played a major role in the Liberal Government introducing reform. After scientific reports conducted by Seebolm Rowntree and Charles Booth had identified the full extent of poverty within inner city Britain, the Liberals felt compelled to act.(1) However, there were other contributing factors which drove the Liberals towards reform. The enfranchisement of the working classes meant the newly formed Labour party together with socialist ideologies were beginning to put pressure on the Government to introduce reform. (2/3) The Liberals also had to contend with, as well as act upon, the poor state of the nation’s health, which was highlighted during the Boer War recruitment campaign. As well as its failing economy (4/5) The pressure for change which was going on within its own ranks from “New Liberal” thinkers such as Lloyd George and Herbert Asquith also played a pivotal part in the Liberals leaning towards social intervention and reform.(6) ( introduction complete, you have stated the points you are now going to develop and analyse)
The Liberal Governments decision to introduce reform in Britain was mainly due to their concerns about poverty, which were clearly highlighted in reports conducted by both Seebolm Rowntree and Charles Booth. These highly influential businessmen set out to disprove the idea that poverty levels were hugely exaggerated within Britain’s inner cities. (Content 1) Booth chose to conduct his survey on 1 million families within London, this concluded that the level of poverty was not the initial 25% first thought, but was actually at a much higher level of 30%.With only 10% of the people being helped by the Government’s Poor Law system. (anaylsis1) Furthermore, Rowntree also highlighted similar levels of poverty in York, where 27.8% were...
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