How far did the liberals lay the fondations of the welfare s Essay
How far did the Liberals lay the foundations of the welfare state?
The welfare state was set up in 1945, after the second world by the Labour government. It ensured that people would be looked after from the cradle to the grave. Some historians would argue that the Labour government should not be given all the credit for founding the welfare state but that the Liberals in 1906-1914 had already laid the foundations.
In 1906 the Liberals took over government, most of the Liberals still believed in'Laissez-Faire' but a small group of'new Liberals' believed the government should carry out more social reform.Two of these'new Liberals' were David Lloyd George and Winston Spencer Churchill. David Lloyd George was welsh and came from a working class background and because he had experienced povertyfirst hand he sympathised with the poor and he wanted to help them. Thanks to the surveys that were carried out by Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree the liberal government decided to pass a series of reform acts.Thefirst to help was children as Rowntree's poverty cycle showed that it was mostly children that were suffering, so this was thefirst area that the Liberals passed reforms in.
Thefirst act they passed for children was The School Meals Act 1906.This meant that children got fed breakfast at school so that they could concentrate during the school day and that they were guaranteed to have at least one good meal a day. The second act they bought in was The Medical Inspections 1907. This meant that all children that were going to school had to get medically inspected for such things as height, weight, eyes, ears and teeth. There was one last reform that the Liberals passed for children; this was The Children's Charter 1908. This act bought in a lot of acts and joined it as one. This reform banned children from doing certain things, for example children under 16 were not allowed