Labour Essay

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To what extent where the Liberal Social Reforms of 1906-1914 a response to the challenge of the Labour party? Between 1906-1914, the Liberal Government introduced a series of social reforms. The reforms were the result of a combination of complex factors. The Liberal Government were worried by the growth in the popularity of the Labour Party. They were also responding to fears of Britain’s decline in “National Efficiently”- shown up in the Boer War. The social surveys of Booth and Rowntree also convinced the Government that social reforms to help the poor urgently needed. New liberals like Lloyd George and Churchill also played a part in convincing the government of the need for social reforms. Although some historians have suggested that the Liberal Reforms were introduced in response to the growth of the labour movement the fear of Britain’s decline and that the influence of the New Liberals were equally important. The least important factor of the Liberal Social reforms of 1906-1914 as a response to the challenge of the Labour party would be the outbreak of the Boer war. This brought fears to the Government that they had about the decline of Britain’s National Efficiency. Due to this war the Government noticed that the working class was extremely poor unlike Britain’s other competitors Germany and the USA. Then the Government realised that they would need to start helping the poor and improve their lives. Also two new Liberals Winston Churchill and Lloyd George, wanted their party to introduce social reforms to help the poor, the unemployed, the elderly and the sick, these two Liberals have alot of sympathy for the poor but were also worried by the rise in support for the Labour Party which Churchill and Lloyd believed would affect the liberals. Lloyd George spoke of a “country prepared for bigger things immediately after the war”. Many Social historians have, stressed the importance of the Boer War in the origin of the liberal reform. This factor is not...
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