In the 1900s the liberal party’s view was the people should be

In the 1900s the liberal party’s view was the people should be able to look after themselves. Hard work would get a person out of poverty and the people who stayed in poverty were simply lazy. This was clearly not true, but this was the primary view of the time. Eventually through time the liberal party slowly changed their mind. Their fundamental beliefs slowly changed, from having no responsibility for the people to giving the people the support that needed it most. There are many reasons for this, stemming from political reasons, military reasons and social reasons.Seebohm Roundtree was an influential figure of this time. Roundtree ran a famous chocolate and sweet factory, as well as being a committed social reformer. Roundtree was interested in the poverty problem and decided to publish a book, poverty: a study of town life. Within the book it had brought to light some of the truths about poverty and made a lot of people rethink their view on poverty. This included the government’s view.Roundtree had influence within the government. The combination of this and his book helped pass laws such as old age pension act and the national insurance act. Another factor was the conservatives were putting pressure on the liberal government as they were introducing their own reforms that benefited the working class. This could have meant losing the working-class vote. This pressure encouraged more beneficial working-class laws.The Boer war highlighted how unhealthy Britain’s working class really was. The government needed to call up a strong volunteer army to fight for the country but found that 50% of the population were unfit to join. This was due to how malnourished the working class had become in Britain. This forced the army to change their standards and reduce the height limit. The government coming to this realization concerned them as they were unable to call up an army at short notice and this further influenced the reforms of the time, towards a healthier working class. Industrial decline in Britain had played its part in these reforms as well. Britain’s power was being challenged by the like of Germany and the USA. The government had somewhat linked Germanys success with their healthier workers and this factor further encouraged better treatment of Britain’s working class. Britain had been overtaken by Germany and USA and the government believed by taking this new approach it would have a better chance of reclaiming its lead. Socialism was a concern for the liberal government as it had seen the likes of Russia, France and Germany have problems with this. The government was aware that some socialists encouraged violent revolution and These reforms for the working class were the liberal governments way of keeping this issue at bay. 2. The government were now aware of the lack of health within the working class and were now willing to act and do something about this issue. One of the approaches were to target children and nurse them to healthy adulthood. Source A shows the many ways the liberal government were approaching the issue. The 1906 education act (provision of meals) had been passed, which allowed schools to provide a meal a day for the children, this was optional for the schools but at least it encouraged the schools to provide them with a healthy meal. As seen in the source. “the education act which granted permission to levy a compulsory rate rather than relying on charity”This was not good enough as it was not mandatory, and many children were still starving. The liberal government later made the one meal at school mandatory for every school in 1914. As shown in the source “not until 1914 were local authorities actually obligated to provide school meals” this guaranteed every child at school at least one decent meal a day, giving the children a better chance of growing up healthy. This was an improvement as it bettered the chances of the children growing up to be healthy.The next step was introducing school medical checks in 1907 with the education act (administrative provisions), as seen in the source A. this was a further step in the correct direction, regarding the children’s health. It was clear that this only showed that the children needed treatment as highlighted in the source “while the medical inspections of the school children merely emphasized the need for treatment” this had not improved the children’s overall health but only shown how much treatment was actually needed.By the 1914 school clinics had become common and were treating children’s illness, instead of just inspecting their health. “by 1914 school clinics were widespread” as shown in source A, this will have further improved the overall health of the child population, as the children weren’t going to get treatment anywhere else.In 1908 children and young person act gave special status to children and aloud prosecution to parents that neglected their children. This act also made it so a person could no longer insure a child as people were taking advantage of this and allowing their children to die. This act also gave children their own court system that helped deal with young crime.The children’s charter act came along in the same year. This banned children from begging and smoking. It also separated children offenders from adult offenders and made it so the death penalty no longer applied to children. This further protected children and made it so children were treated better in general. This took away some children’s only income as they were no longer able to beg but was over all an improvement in the way children were being treated in society. “The licensing of midwifes act 1902 and the personal health services for mothers and infants are the clearest instances of the new priority’s” source 1 talks of the new regulations around midwifes and the standers. It highlights the clear move in a new direction of caring for the young. 3.The old age pension act in 1908 was made with good intent but had many issues. This act would allow a person over 70 receive a small income of 7 shillings a week. This was a good move from the liberal government as it took pressure of the charities to care for the old and aloud more independence for the old. The problem with the pension, was that it was simply not enough to live off and there had been many reasons why a person may not receive the state pension. This could be for not to working to their best ability well young or if they could not prove they have been a British citizen for 20 years. Overall this act had been the first attempt from the liberal government to deal with poverty and was the correct move as it benefited millions. This had played a very important part in improving life for the elderly and was one of the most impactful changes the liberal government made, even though it was not perfect. Labor exchange was around for some time but in 1909 the liberal government made the decision to start a government ran labor exchange. Here a person would sign onto a register if they were looking for work. This was made with the intent to fight unemployment and was successful in doing so, with work for 3000 people every working day. This truly impacted the unemployment rate, showing that the poor were simply not just lazy. This helped many people desperate for work and had a positive impact on workers due to this.In 1911 the national insurance act was released. This act made several insurances mandatory for workers under a certain pay bracket. Sick pay was one of these insurances. Sick pay was a small weekly deduction of the workers wage, as well as a small payment from the compony the person is working for. The government would also pay small sum towards this scheme. This would result in 26 weeks of pay well the person is sick, as well as free treatment. This was a big improvement for low paid workers, even though it was widely criticized and one of disadvantages is the health care unfortunately did not extend to the workers family. The other part of this act was the unemployment benefit, which was meant to take care of the unemployment within Britain. This insurance deducted a further sum of money of the worker each week, as well as the employer and the government paying towards this. This would cover the worker for up to 15 weeks, receiving seven shilling each week. This could not provide for a family and was done so purposefully, as not to encourage unemployment for long periods of time.This act received a lot of negativity from all sides. The upper class were not happy that they had to pay out of their own pocket for the workers benefits and some of the working class were not convinced this insurance was worth paying out their own pocket for. Many conservatives were not convinced by this idea either calling it the nanny state and claiming that this would encourage laziness. Even though it received a lot of criticism It was a clear move towards a healthier and happier working class.

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