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Liberal Reforms Essay Example for Free

Liberal Reforms EssayBy the archean twentieth century the Liberal judicature was worried that Britains soldiers capability and general military power was not as strong and it once was. Therefore, the Governments concern over case security measures definitely influenced the decision for the reforms. However, there are three main factors that also need to be taken into account when deciding if concern over interior(a) security was the real reason for the reforms the affectionate reasons, concerns for Britains Empire and the Political motive. The Social reasons played a large part in persuading the Liberals to reform.The critical reports of Booth and Rowntree, and the evidence which was brought to light, highlighted that nearly a 1/3 of Britains population lived in mendicancy. This infallible to be addressed by the Government. In addition, criticisms of the Poor Law effectively put pressure on the Liberals. The Boer War shone light on the ineffective and malnourished Brit ish Army. Britains embarrassing performance and recruitment in the War raised concerns over Britains overall military capability and the general wellness of Britains populace.In addition to this, the Liberal Government was concerned that Britain was losing its status as a major(ip) industrial power. Political motives for reform include the changing attitudes within the party, peeled Liberalism, the fear of the ever increase popularity of the Labour Party and the party advantage which the Liberals would have received from introducing reform. In 1899, Britain became involved in a war, known as the Boer War, in S erupth Africa, which was part of the British Empire at that time. As a result of Britain having a relatively small army, volunteer recruits were needed to increase the army size.However, the British Government became al fortify when almost 25% of the volunteers were rejected because there were physically unfit to serve in the armed forces. This figure was even higher among v olunteers from the industrial cities. Politicians and the public alike began to ask if Britain could survive a war, or protect its empire against a far stronger enemy than the South African Boers, if the nations chip stock of young men were so unhealthy. The national reforms introduced a variety of bills which would hopefully solve this problem.The 1906 throwaway was passed, allo make itg local authorities to provide give lessons meals to children. In 1914 this was extended to becoming compulsory to offer school meals. This bill meant that poorer children, who previously could not afford a proper nutritious meal, were now receiving regular, healthy food. This would hopefully improve the health of Britains army as in the long term, the children who would eventually make up Britains army, would be nourished, fit and capable to serve their dry land. The 1907 Bill made the medical inspection of schools compulsory.Doctors had to the board of Education on their findings which resulte d in the introduction of the 1912 bill which saw to the establishment of school clinics. The improved life style and eating habits of Britains youngsters, combined with the introduction of medial inspections for them were the result of the Liberal reforms. Therefore, the Liberals concern over national security played a major role in achieving reform which would effectively benefit the country as a whole. However, there are still other reasons which influenced the Governments choice to reform.through and through the Poor Law of 1845 (1834 in England), local rate-payers provided poor relief for destitute pile. This help was often provided in a poorhouse. Conditions in these poorhouses were designed to be very harsh indeed. Conditions in poorhouses were extremely harsh because it was to monish people who were just lazy and thought of the poorhouses as the easy option. Glasgow had three poorhouses One in the city centre, Barhill in Springburn and Govan. The percentage of the public re lying on the Poor Law relief, by 1900, was 2. 5%.This whitethorn seem very little but this figure does not represent the number of people in Britain who were in poverty. Destitute people who accepted help from the Poor Law became paupers and automatically lost galore(postnominal) civil rights such as the right to vote. By 1900 many critics of the Poor Law believed that it failed to deal with poverty adequately. In addition to criticism of the Poor Law, the evidence discovered from both Booth and Rowntrees studies reason that there was a large percentage of Britains population living in poverty.Charles Booth, a capital of the United Kingdom businessman who doubted the claims of socialist that a quarter of the population lived in extreme poverty. Working with a team of researchers from 1886-1903, Booths work was based on hard, statistical facts, and not opinion. His book, The Life and Labour of the people of London, consisting of 17 volumes, showed that 25% of Londons population live d in extreme poverty. Much more(prenominal) than the socialists claimed. The second investigation into poverty was carried out by Seebohm Rowntree, in the city of York.After two old age of research, he published a book in 1901 which showed that almost 30% of Yorks population lived in extreme poverty. If York had such poverty problems as a typical English city then as did other cities in Britain. The reports of Booth and Rowntree produced solid evidence to suggest that sections of society-regardless of hard work- would never pull themselves out of poverty. The reports showed poverty to have causes and the cities were beyond the individual efforts of the poor.The concept of deserving poor, an ideal created by Rowntree, was of import and took root, becoming an important theme of the Liberal Reforms. Finally, evidence which suggested that the scale of poverty in Britain was much big than the figure of 2. 5% suggested by Poor Law Records, indicated to politicians that the Poor Law wa s not working. When the Liberals came to power they had a majority of 400. In the elections in 1910 this majority dropped to 2. The Labour Party threatened the Liberals hold onto power. Labour promised pensions, exertion against unemployment and other welfare reforms.Following voting reform from 1980 the majority of voters were working frame. Liberals worried that Labour would win working class support and threaten the position of the Liberals. In 1900, the Labour Party formed with 2 sit down in parliament, by the 1905 election, Labour had increase this to 29 sears. It was becoming more increasingly alive(predicate) that the Labour Party was a direct threat to the Liberals. In 1907 the Liberals lost 2 safe seats in Jarrow and Colne Valley to Labour. David Lloyd George recognised the need for welfare reforms for governmental survival and to maintain working class support.In addition to the fear of the Labour Party, the Liberals also faced the problem of trade trade unionism and revolutionary socialism. Radical Socialism called for the destruction of capitalism. From 1910-14, there was a wave of miners and dockers strikes. Liberals realised welfare reforms could prevent political unrest. Historians argue that the sudden increase in the Labour Partys popularity and the problems the Liberals faced regarding trade unionism and radical socialism persuaded the Liberals to introduce pensions the next year, and furthermore, encourage the Liberals to reform.Before 1905, many Liberals believed in Lassiez-faire. However, new groups in the party believed that it was the duty of the Government to take action to help Britains poorer citizens. This group was called new liberals. It include David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. Churchill aimed to draw a line below which we will not allow people to live and labour. The Liberals, cherished to help the deserving poor out of social conscience but they recognised the political advantages it could claim too. The Labour Party was offering such reforms that would bring them political success.This could be soon through their increased popularity. Therefore it is likely that the Liberals reformed due to the pressure put on them by the ideal of New Liberalism. In conclusion, the Liberal reforms came most as the result of many influences from both different areas of the Government and the public. On one hand, the embarrassing performance by the British army in South Africa and the lack of able volunteers to increase Britains armys capability was definitely a main influence wherefore the Liberals introduced the reforms when they did.On the other hand however, the evidence brought to light by Rowntree and Booth cannot be disregarded as not being an influence to the introduction of these reforms. In addition, other factors such as the Liberals fear of losing votes to the new Labour Party and the political readiness to pass reforms influenced by new ideas about New Liberalism made the reforms a more press ing necessity. Overall, it cannot be seen that concern over national security was the only reason for the Liberal reforms, as there were other influences which encouraged the Governments decision.

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