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Pressure from Labour

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Humanities Department

on 11 November 2017

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Transcript of Pressure from Labour

Pressure from the Labour Party:
Political attitudes towards the poor:
Enfranchisement of the working classes
By 1884 the majority of working class men had the right to vote.
The 1906 General Election:

The Conservatives had held power for almost two decades.
However, they had become increasingly out of touch with the voting public.
In 1906 the Liberals swept to power in one of the biggest landslide victories in British political history.
The Liberals had made a deal with Labour not to contest 31 seats in which Labour were standing for election. The hope was to get rid of as many Tory MPs as possible.

Political Self-Interest:
Throughout the 19th Century British politics was dominated by two political parties:
The Conservatives The Liberals
Mainly represent the views of the upper classes.
Represent the views of middle/upper classes.
Laissez-faire attitude towards the poor.
Laissez-faire attitude towards the poor.
Main concern is preserving free trade.
Why might this have changed attitudes towards the poor within the Liberal Party?
Growth of the Labour Party
By 1900 a new political party had emerged, forcing both the Liberals and the Conservatives to re-assess their attitudes towards the poor.
Labour Party Fact-File:
1. Who do you think would be most likely to vote for the Labour Party?
2. Why would this put pressure on the Liberals and Conservatives to re-assess their attitudes towards the poor?
James Keir Hardie
To represent the views of the working classes in Parliament.
Old Age Pensions.
Votes for women.
More rights for workers.
1. What evidence is there to suggest that Labour had put some pressure on the Liberals in the 1906 election?

2. What evidence is there to suggest that pressure from Labour was not a serious threat in 1906?
Which factor(s) do you think were most significant in changing attitudes towards the poor.
Pressure Increases:
The Liberal Welfare Reforms were designed to help four aspects of the deserving poor out of poverty:
The Young
The Elderly
The Sick
The Unemployed
Carousel Task:
Read through the information your group has been given.
How successful were the Liberal Reforms at tackling poverty?
The success of the Liberal Reforms in tackling poverty has been greatly debated. In short, the Reforms were undoubtedly a step in the right direction. However, they only provided help to the 'deserving poor' and far more work was needed to create a comprehensive welfare state that could keep people above the poverty line.
The Liberal Welfare Reforms, 1906-14:
On your flip-chart paper write down the name of the Act passed.
Successes of the Liberal Forms
Failures of the Liberal Reforms
For each flip chart, write down:
The relevant Reform Act(s)
How they aimed to help people out of poverty
National Insurance Act Part 2 (1911)

Designed to provide a level of income for certain workers when they were unemployed.

+ Helped those in trades most that were most affected by seasonal unemployment.
+ Workers were entitled to 7 shillings/week if they were unemployed (for up to 15weeks)
- Only available to those working in 7 insecure trades.
- If someone was unemployed for longer than 15weeks they would have to resort to the Poor Law or fend for themselves.
changing attitudes to the poor
national efficiency
Boer War
New Liberalism
Political Self-Interest
Reports into poverty
The two biggest negatives of this Act.
What you believe to be the two most positive measures
round 1
round 2
round 3
Which of the four aspects of poverty do you think was most improved by the Liberal Welfare Reforms? Why?

Which aspect do you think the Liberals did the least to help with?
Time-line of Liberal Reforms
1906 - Free School Meals Act
Do you think the Liberal Reforms should be considered a success or a failure?
Explain your answer.
Pressure for Reform
National Efficiency
Reports into poverty
Reports into Poverty
Political Self Interest
National Efficiency
New Liberalism
Liberal Reforms: Presentation Task
Using the resources provided, create an eye catching display that explains the reasons for the Liberal Reforms & the impact of the Liberal Reforms themselves.
Success Criteria:
Display must feature all 5 of the pressures for reform.
Display must explain at least one reform passed to help:
Each of the above sections must be accompanied by at least one image.
There must be one failure and success given for reforms aimed at helping YESU.
changing attitudes to the poor
national efficiency
Boer War
New Liberalism
Political Self-Interest
Reports into poverty
changing attitudes to the poor
National Efficiency & economic concerns
Boer War & concerns about national security
New Liberalism & Impact of 'Municipal Socialism'
Pressure from the Labour Party
Reports into poverty
377 Liberal MPs were returned, whilst the Conservatives won only 157 seats.
Labour won 29 which was a significant number for a party which was only 6 years old. The Labour manifesto contained ideas such as Pensions.
It should also be pointed out the Irish Nationalists won 82 seats, so Labour were only the 4th biggest party.
The result was a disaster for the Conservatives and meant that any bill or reform introduced by the Liberals was likely to be comfortably voted through.
However, it should be noted that there was little mention of any reforms to social welfare in the Liberals election campaign.
• The threat from the Labour Party became more obvious in 1907-1908 when they defeated the Liberals in several by-elections.
“I can tell Liberals what will make the Labour party a great force in this country. If it were found that a Liberal government had done nothing to remove the national shame of the slums and widespread poverty.”
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