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Liberal Government 1906-1914 - Essay Example

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The General Elections that were held in Britain in 1906 celebrated its centenary year in 2006. Although a number of historical events of historical significance exist, the General Elections of 1906 can be considered to be one of the most important happenings in British History…
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Liberal Government 1906-1914
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Download file to see previous pages The Liberal Government came into existence in 1906 after a landslide victory over the conservatives. The Liberal government was led by Prime Minister, Henry Campbell Bannerman. The Liberal government passed various legislations once it came to power. All the legislations passed by the liberal government collectively came to be known as Liberal Reforms. The concept of 'new Liberalism' had begun to permeate through the party. The members unanimously began to promote appreciation of the interdependence and mutuality of modern society; collective action over individual action and sympathetic response to poverty.
This report aims at enumerating the various liberal reforms that were outlined by the liberal government and its consequent impacts on people. The report in specific speaks about how the liberal government dealt with the problem of poverty. The liberal government went against the previously existing concept of Laissez Faire. The report also talks about how the new policies of the liberal government had an impact on the state of poverty. Solving the problem of poverty was a top priority objective of the liberal government. The report discusses the measures taken by the liberal government to tackle the problem.
The conservative party that was in power before the liberals took over passed several legislations for social reforms. Particularly the 'Employment of Children' act in 1905 and Unemployed Workman's Act in 1903 aimed at alleviating the distress of the unemployed poor and destitute children (, 2005). However most of these reforms were carried out on the scale of local authorities and not by the Government as such. The liberal party too; before 1906, had assumed a Laissez Fare system of governance, according to which people are responsible for their own welfare. According to the Laissez Fare, prevalent conditions of poverty and illness were due to the ill practices of people themselves. The government never accepted responsibility for the prevalent hardships. The poor were seen by the wealthy as an unfortunate but inevitable part of society (Lednum, 2006).
Although there were some prevalent acts and regulations; on the whole; the state did not do much to alleviate the lives of the poor class of people in UK. For instance, if the bread earner of a particular family died, the entire family would be plunged to doom. However, the state would not take any measures to rehabilitate the kin of the dead (Lednum, 2006). The main role of the then government was just to maintain the law and protect the country from foreign invasions. It was in the late 19th century and early 20th century that, several representatives of the state began to feel the importance of the state taking measures to deal with the problem of poverty.
Several reasons can be enumerated for the upsurge of the notion of collective action to tackle the problem of poverty. Primarily the upper class and the MPs of UK feared that Britain would decline as a world power if the prevalent conditions persisted. They realized that if UK had to remain as a world power; they needed to obtain higher levels of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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