Access to History: Britain 1900-51 by Michael Lynch

By Michael Lynch

This name covers the most important fiscal, political and social problems with the interval. It specializes in the altering fortunes of the political events on the time and the ways that they have been tormented by the affects of the 2 international wars. The pressures for social reform during the interval also are analysed.

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Unable to outvote the Government in the Commons, the Conservative opposition had reverted to using its in-built majority in the Lords to block measures to which it objected. Matters came to a head in the controversy over the People’s Budget of 1909, in which Lloyd Key question How justified were the Lords in resisting the People’s Budget and the Parliament Bill? Key date The Liberals’ reforming energy was sustained until 1914, but from 1911 onwards Asquith’s government had to contend with a serious set of problems which tended to overshadow its achievements in social welfare provision.

B) To answer this question you will need to consider not only ideological motives but also the other motives behind the Liberals’ welfare reforms. Your task is to assess whether ideological concerns were of greater importance than other factors. Firstly, you should explain what the ideological concerns were. Look at pages 18–21 and explain the extent to which the ideology of New Liberalism influenced the party after 1906. Other factors might include: • the problem of poverty and social surveys by Booth and Rowntree (see page 3) • national efficiency (see page 3) • Britain’s flagging international position (pages 4–5) • the influence of the (new) Labour Party (pages 27–30 and 31) • you might also consider how ‘new’ the welfare reforms actually were.

A notable feature of government policy from 1911 was its concern with the constitutional and industrialrelations issues that dominated the political scene. Chief political and constitutional reforms, 1911–14: Key term Crisis, War and its Consequences | 39 Convention Since Britain does not have a written constitution, matters are decided by referring to traditional practice or convention. George had proposed special taxes on rich landowners to pay for old age pensions (see page 23). The Unionists decided to resist the budget on the grounds that it was an unprecedented attack upon the rights of property.

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