Britain: British Society 1890-1918 - Liberal Reforms From 1906-22

GCSE History looks at British society in different eras. One period covered is from 1890-1918, and one aspect studied is the reforms made by the Liberal government between 1906-1922.

British society underwent huge changes between 1906-1922. The Liberal Party swept to power in 1906 with a massive majority over the Conservatives. Henry Campbell-Bannerman served as prime minister until 1908, when Herbert Asquith succeeded him. David Lloyd George moved up to become Chancellor of the Exchequer, determined to introduce radical reforms.

Learn more about the Liberal Government's reforms between 1906-1922, and the effect they had on British Society.

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  1. In 1908 old age pensions were introduced for the first time. What was the qualifying age?
    Bismarck had made similar provision for German pensioners, but Lloyd George's pensions legislation was a novelty for Britain
  2. In 1909 Job Centres were introduced. By what name were they known at the time?
    This measure also showed a new version of Liberalism: that the government would increasingly be involved in areas that previous Liberals had regarded as none of the state's business
  3. The 1909 Budget sought to raise new taxes on the rich in order to pay for increased military spending and more spending on welfare. By what name was this budget known?
    The House of Commons passed the budget by a large majority, but it came to grief in the House of Lords where peers could reject any measure coming up from the Commons
  4. On what did the 1909 Budget propose to levy two new taxes, thus infuriating many members of the Lords?
    Most peers were wealthy and so they resented taxes on any kind of property or on profit from the disposal of property
  5. In 1911 the Liberals managed to get an act onto the statute book that altered the powers of the Lords. They could delay certain bills only for a few months and others for no more than a couple of years. What was the name of this important Act of Parliament?
    The good news was that the Lords would never again be able to block a bill of which they disapproved. The bad news was that neither of two general elections in 1910 (January and December), intended to bring pressure on the Lords to pass the 1909 Budget, gave any party an overall Commons majority
  6. The 1918 Representation of the People Act gave the vote to women for the first time. Which category of women was now allowed the vote?
    Technically these women were given the vote to reward them for their contribution to the war effort
  7. This act also gave almost all men the vote over a certain age. What was now the age qualification for men to vote?
    Most men had had the right to vote before 1918. Now very nearly all did
  8. The 1918 Education Act raised the school leaving age to what?
    Reformers hoped to raise the school leaving age even further over time
  9. Who was the first female member of the House of Commons to be both elected a member, and to take her seat - in 1919?
    One or two M.P.s elected in 1918 refused to take their seats in protest, but at least one woman did
  10. What nickname did Lloyd George acquire for his success as Chancellor, and for his work during the war as Munitions Minister and War Minister, as well as his leadership as prime minister?
    Lloyd George acquired a reputation for being able to get things done. In 1922, when he lost power, many - including Churchill - expected to see him back soon

Author: Edward Towne

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