Essay about Democracy: Liberalism and Act

Submitted By aziazan
Words: 1863
Pages: 8

How far was the concern over national security the real reason for the Liberal reforms passed between 1906 and 1914?
The life of British people was increasingly improved during the series of social reforms being passed by the Liberal government. When the Liberals won the election, they won it through the thinking of Laissez-Faire as then the Government believed that they should not intervene with the lives of people but after 1908 the new Prime Minister of Liberals, Herbert Henry Asquith and also the addition of David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill to the cabinet had brought in the new liberalism as they all believed that the Government should intervene and help the people. National Security was problem that could not be over looked as British Army had become week as 9 out of 10 recruits were being declined because of the health problems they had and also the cause of this was poverty which led to the findings of Booth and Rowntree proved that 1/3 of the British population was in poverty, eventually the five main problems were addressed and targeted to be solved such as the young, the old, the sick, unemployed and the employed.
The National Security had become a major problem for Britain as they had witnessed a wakeup call from the bore war had taken the British Army 3 years to defeat the African farmers as 9 out of 10 recruits were being declined all over Britain because of their health conditions, Also Britain was behind Germany and America in an industrial race, so in order to overcome these problems Britain face the Liberals introduced Social reforms in order to help the British people and protect it from any potential threat in the future.
In 1870 it was made compulsory for children to attend school until the age of 10, also Liberals first targeted the children in order to improve National security which led to the 1906 Education Act. The Act was made in order to help children concentrate on their studies because in 1905 a survey in Dundee had shown how ill fed the children were when they came to school which resulted in their lack of concentration on the work they were doing. Margaret Macmillan, an educationalist believed in “feed the body, then the mind”.
The act was quite successful as it led to the increase in the provision of meals in schools but the meal was not free. The parents were charged the full price if they could afford it and if not the local authority could put a half penny on the rates. The act had increased the amount of meals provided to 3 million in 1906, 9 million in 1910 and 14 million in 1914. But the limitations of the act were vital as only half of the local authorities were providing meals by 1914. Also the Act did not provide any medical check-up or treatment until 1907.
The 1907 Education Administrative Provisions Act was introduced but the Government was a little intrigued by this Act as it meant that it will show the medical defects in children. The Act had granted children free medical inspections in terms of height, weight and eyesight, it only checked for general diseases. The Act also had its limits as it was not made compulsory. Also when the parents found out about the disturbing illness their child could have, they were too poor to afford the treatment as the Act did not provide any sort of treatment. But eventually the Government had become under pressure by the results that were brought out by these inspections that in 1912 the Government had given local authorities grant to help and treat the illnesses and therefore the school clinics were set up. The 1908 an Act was brought to treat children as children not as adults as it was until 1908.
The 1908 Children’s Act also known as the Children’s Charter was created because until 1908 children were treated as adults, which had brought light to the Government that there is a difference between them. The Act had provided Borstals and a probation officer for under16’s when they were released. Also age limits were put on…