Britain 1906 - 1918   click here to close window
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Achievements of Liberal Reform
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1899-1902 Britain involved in Boer War in South Africa. When men volunteered to join the army to fight, around 50% of the potential recruits were found to be unfit.
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1903-
1904
Government set up an inter-departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration to investigate whether the health of British people was getting worse. It found many examples of poor health and living conditions.
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1905 Conservative government passed the Unemployed Workmen's Act. This allowed local Distress Committees to help unemployed workers with small cash handouts or temporary work.

Liberal party won the general election in December 1905 with a huge majority. Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman became Prime Minister; Herbert Asquith became Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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1906 Liberals passed the Education (Provision of Meals) Act. This allowed (but did not force) local authorities to provide free meals for children in their schools
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1907 Liberals passed the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act. This allowed local authorities to carry out school medical inspections.
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1908 In April Asquith became the leader of the Liberals and Prime Minister. David Lloyd George became Chancellor of the Exchequer and Winston Churchill became Home Secretary.

Children and Young Persons Act passed. This protected young persons from going to prison and set up separate children's courts. It became an offence for parents to neglect children.

Liberals also introduced Old Age Pensions.

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1909 Liberals introduced Labour Exchanges. These provided places where unemployed workers could see what jobs were available in their area.

Liberals brought in the Trade Boards Act. This set out minimum wages that could be paid to workers in industries like lace-making or match production. By 1914 ten separate trades were included. The main people who benefited were women working from home or in small workshops.
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1909 Liberals introduced the Housing and Town Planning Act. This allowed local authorities to pull down slum housing.
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1911 Liberals introduced the National Insurance Act. Part 1 provided help for workers who were taken ill. Part 2 provided help for workers who were unemployed.
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