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Liberal Reforms Essay Skills

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Humanities Department

on 13 November 2017

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Transcript of Liberal Reforms Essay Skills

The Liberal Welfare Reforms:

Divided Society
Attitudes to the Poor
"No laws can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober...
...the poor can only be helped by means of individual action, by better habits rather than by greater rights"
The Government's attitude towards the poor
Real Causes of Poverty
Copy the above graph into your jotter.
In the late 19th Century, Britain was the wealthiest country in the world. Most of her wealth was built from her vast Empire. But only the middle and upper classes were enjoying the benefits of this wealth.
The vast majority of Britain's population lived in terrible conditions and could expect to face poverty several times in their lives.
1859 ‘Self-Help’ book typified the attitude of the time.

In his book Smiles argued that those living in poverty had only themselves to blame and could get themselves out of poverty through hard work and saving.

“[Poor people are] made of inferior material…and cannot be improved,” Norman Pearson.

'Causes' of Poverty:
In the 19th Century, most believed that poverty was self-inflicted, caused by:
Lack of Morals
What do you think this graph represents?
Seebohm Rowntree produced this graph following a study of poverty in York between 1899-1901.
Mark the following points on the graph where you think Rowntree originally marked them himself:
a. Starts to earn own wages
b. Marries
c. Has children
d. Children start to earn wages
e. Too old to work regularly.

From this, what appear to be the 5 main causes of poverty?

The Poor Law Ammendment Act (1845) allowed the disabled, widows, deserted wives and orphans into Poorhouses.
If you were able bodied you were not allowed into a Poorhouse unless you worked.
90% of the unemployed would choose not to enter the poorhouse, because conditions were so bad.
Humiliation, Desperation, Separation...
SOURCE A: Ex-Inmate, 1906
One day I went into the dining-room and found women sitting on the long forms, some sullen, some crying. In front of each was a basin of what was alleged to be broth… The staple diet when I joined the Board was skilly. I have seen the old people, when this stuff was put before them, picking out black specks from the oatmeal. These were caused by rats, which had the undisturbed run of the oatmeal bin. No attempt was made to cleanse the oatmeal before it was prepared for the old people
'Inmates' in the poorhouse faced severe hardships. They could not leave the poorhouse at anytime and had to adhere to a strict programme of work and discipline.
Once you entered a poor house, the only 'possessions' you had were your work clothes and bed.
Food in a Poorhouse...
1. Write a short paragraph describing what life was like in a poorhouse.
2. If you had been unemployed in the 19th Century, would you have been willing to enter a poorhouse? explain your answer.
3. Why do you think Poorhouses operated on such a strict regime?
The attitude of the government towards the state of the people in Britain was one of ‘self-help’.
The government did not believe it was their responsibility to intervene in the lives of the British people.
People were expected to deal with their financial and social hardship on their own.
This is known as

Poor Law:
'Deserving Poor'
The Young
The Elderly
Low wage workers
The Sick
The Unemployed
The laissez-faire attitude towards poverty was challenged by several different factors towards the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Gradually, the Liberals came to accept that there existed a 'deserving poor' who required government help, passing a series of Welfare Reforms to provide relief from poverty.
What is meant by the poverty line?

What do you need to live above the 'poverty line'?

Who should be responsible for helping people living in poverty?
How successful were the Liberal Reforms in tackling poverty?
Read through the handout your group has been given. Summarise the following in your jotter.

The aspect(s) of poverty you are dealing with.
Why was this a cause of poverty before the Liberal Reforms were passed?
Describe how each act was intended to tackle poverty
3 ways in which the act would have improved people's lives.
3 reasons why the act did not do enough to tackle poverty.
Name two Liberal Reforms designed to help the young.
Describe one flaw with the Old Age Pensions Act
Describe how sick workers were helped by the National Insurance Act Part I
What two acts were introduced to help the unemployed?
Describe three ways in which life for some children was improved by the Liberal Reforms?
Do you think the Liberal Reforms did enough to solve the problems of poverty?
Liberal Reforms Task:
Each group now has handouts on the Liberal Reforms passed for:
the young
the elderly
the sick
the unemployed

For each aspect of poverty you must have notes on the following:
What acts were passed
The main ways these acts would have improved life for those in poverty
Reasons why each act did not do enough to tackle poverty
1. Which aspect of poverty was most improved following the Liberal Reforms? Explain your answer.
2.Which aspect of poverty was least improved? Why?
3. How much help would the Liberal Reforms provide to a family living just above the poverty line?
4. Would the Liberal Reforms do enough for a family living well below the poverty line?
How successful were the Liberal Reforms?
In your groups, create a poster or display that shows the successes and limitations of the Liberal Reforms. This should be split into 4 sections (the young, the elderly, the sick & the unemployed) and cover the following:
Details of each Reform Act
An explanation of the ways in which each act would have helped people in poverty.
Reasons why each act did not do enough to fully tackle poverty.
Problems that the reforms did not solve.
An explanation of which aspect of poverty was dealt with most successfully and why.
An explanation of which aspect of poverty was least improved by the Reforms.
Why was each of these a cause of poverty?
Low Wage Workers
Seebohm Rowntree, undertook an extensive study of poverty in York in 1899-1901.
He argued that a main cause of poverty was low wages. People were employed but simply not being paid enough to keep their family out of poverty.
Rowntree argued that a family of 4 needed 21 shillings a week to stay out of poverty.
He calculated that 52% of poverty was caused by low wages.
In 1909, the Liberals passed the Trade Boards Act. This set up committees to negotiate minimum wages and agreed working conditions for box, chain and lace makers and tailors.
Around 200,000 workers were now covered by a minimum wage.
However, no national minimum wage was established.
Liberal Reforms: Analysis & Evaluation
•To what extent did the Liberal reforms of 1906 to 1914 make a significant improvement to the lives of the British people?
Explaining the successes and failures of an act is one way to gain analysis marks. However this must be linked to the wording of the question.
This was successful because it meant 158,000 children were receiving free school meals by 1914.
The free school meals act
improved the lives of the British public
by ensuring that 158,000 of the poorest children were guaranteed one hot meal a day,
improving their diet and their concentration
Look at the two acts your group has been given.
Thinking about the successes of each act write as many ways in which it significantly improved the lives of the British people.
Make sure you link these to the wording of the question and that they are well explained.
Analysis: Counter Arguments
By providing a counter argument (i.e. a failure) it is possible to begin to develop analysis plus. Again this must be linked to the wording of the question and well explained.
Key words to use:

Despite this,
On the other hand,
However, not everyone council gave out free school meals and by 1911 less than a third of councils were providing them.
only the lives of a few children would have been significantly improved
as by 1911 less than a third of councils were providing them,
meaning that for most children there was no improvement to their diets.
Read through the successes on the flip-chart your group now has.
Using phrases such as however, on the other hand, despite this, explain why the act failed to significantly improve the lives of the British people.
Make sure you link these to the wording of the question and that they are well explained.
Analysis Plus:
You may well have done enough to gain analysis plus already, but to make sure you can reinforce your argument either by adding another success of another failure.
Key phrases to use:
On top of this,
Furthermore, those that did receive the free school meals would not receive them at the weekend or during the holidays.
Furthermore, the
impact on the lives of the children
that did receive the free school meals
was by no means significant
as they would not receive the meals during the holidays and
their health would suffer as a result.
Read through the successes and failure on the flip-chart your group now has.
Using phrases such as furthermore, moreover, additionally add either another success or another failure.
Make sure you link these to the wording of the question and that they are well explained.
The purpose of evaluations is to:
Assess the overall impact of the factor
Reinforce your line of argument
Show that a prioritisation of factors can be made.
Prioritising factors:
For a Liberal Reforms essay question it is useful to firstly have ranked the factors in order of how successfully each aspect of poverty was tackled by the reforms.
Rank the young, the elderly etc from 1-4. 1 being the aspect of poverty that was most improved.
Provide a reason for your decision.
How can this be linked to your line of argument?
Developing a line of argument:
•To what extent did the Liberal reforms of 1906 to 1914 make a significant improvement to the lives of the British people?
What line of arguments can be taken with this question?
Key is to be balanced.
'This essay will argue that whilst ...
Comparing Factors:
Making comparisons between factors is one of the best ways to gain Evaluation and Evaluation + marks.
Make sure these refer to the wording of the question.
In comparison to the young, the lives of the elderly were more significantly improved. Whilst only a limited number of children actually received free school meals, the lives of virtually every person over 70 were improved by the pension.
This can be shown by the reaction of pensioners, some of whom wept tears of joy when receiving their pension for the first time
In comparison to the ______________,
the lives of the ____________________ were more/less significantly improved, because .... Therefore....
•To what extent did the Liberal reforms of 1906 to 1914 make a significant improvement to the lives of the British people?
Essay Question:
Line of argument
Main Section:
Young, Elderly, Sick, Unemployed & low wage workers (1 paragraph on each, can be in any order)
For each paragraph, explain:
why this was a cause of poverty,
what reform acts were passed to help,
analyse each reform act.
Evaluate - use the format from last week
You will find all of this in your jotters
On the one hand, the Liberal Reforms made a significant improvement to the lives of those.... because...

On the other hand, the Liberal Reforms failed to significantly improve the lives of... because...

Therefore... (repeat your line of argument)
Causes of Poverty:
Large families
Low wages
Old Age
Causes of Poverty - Jigsaw Task
Read through the sheet you have given.

Summarise the key information in at least 3 bullet points:

Make sure you have explain why this was a cause of poverty and what problems this caused for the poor
'This essay will argue that...'
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