The British Welfare State Essay

2876 words - 12 pages

The idea behind the welfare state was to relieve poverty, reduce inequality, and achieve greater
social integration and solidarity, and in Britain these aims were sorely wanted after world war two .

This desire for the welfare state was rooted in many causes. To fully understand these cause we have to start out not at the 1941 beginnings of the large scale welfare state but to 1598.

One of the main motivating factors behind this desire towards a welfare state was the universal hatred of the so called "Poor laws." These were a series of laws governing aid (feeding, education, and health) to the poorest of society. The first passed in 1598 and not until 1948 did the last one of them get eliminated. The basic idea behind these laws was that for someone who was able bodied to be eligible for help he would have to be declared a pauper and would have to work in a workhouse where he would receive the most elementary and basic rations for his labors. The old and the sick may receive state help without having to work, but even they had to live in a poor house to be able to receive rations. The rights of paupers were substantially less then a "normal" citizens . They couldn't vote, they were not to be hired unless all other sources of labor were exhausted (Thus preventing them from lifting themselves out of absolute poverty and rejoining society), and were not allowed to move freely (like feudal serfs, some towns even branded their paupers). In addition the psychological and emotional stigma of being demoted to the lowest caste (pauper) in an England where class counted for everything must have been terrible. And the workhouses where they were forced to stay and work usually had quite appalling living conditions: in 1845, there was a scandal at Andover Workhouse, where starving paupers were found to be chewing the gristle of bones they were supposed to be crushing. A lot of people committed petty crimes so that they would be deported to the colonies as convicts rather then go to these poor houses, as that still offered more hope of a better future. Free health care was also subordinated to these poor laws, with a person having to be declared a pauper to be able to receive it at an infirmary. So while there was a form of welfare that could be used as a last resort under the poor laws a person had to give up a lot of his rights, his social status, and his hope of a better future to be able to partake in this rudimentary and most basic form of welfare. The importance of these poor laws on the future lay in the fact of how repulsive they were and how the working classed revulsion of these laws led to them demanding a much fairer system.

Until 1905 this was the only form of welfare available. But in 1906 a Liberal government came to power and decided that a larger section of society and not just the extreme poor were in need of public services. An important social survey was carried out and the results were quite bleak. It showed that a...

Find Another Essay On The British Welfare State

The Success of the Welfare State

1847 words - 7 pages The Success of the Welfare State The term “welfare state” refers to the provisions made by a state intended to protect its citizens from social problems – principally ill health, unemployment, poor housing and lack of access to education. This essay will study the British experience of the welfare state and its initial aims and consider whether its modern form has succeeded in fulfilling them. Welfare

The Welfare State in the United Kingdom

1960 words - 8 pages unable to care for themselves or attain a minimum standard of living. In the United Kingdom, the basic idea of the British Welfare State has been articulated as the desire to care for all people resident in the United Kingdom "from the cradle to the grave". The main objectives have been traditionally defined as the eradication of "want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness". Underlying these principles and objectives is the social consensus

Rolling back the australian welfare state

2323 words - 9 pages Since the Howard government and the liberal party came to power in Australia, the welfare state has been rolled back and conditions for obtaining state assistance have greatly expanded. This has been due, in part to the Commonwealth government's attempt to reduce their financial commitments to the Australian people coupled with an ideological shift towards individual responsibility and privatisation .The citizenship theory, which underpins the

The Welfare State and its Persistence

2462 words - 10 pages “Many people would prefer to live in a society that is not only affluent but also reasonably egalitarian” (Kenworthy, 2004, p. 1). This could possibly be considered for the title of the least-contested statements in political economics, the notion of equal opportunity for all is one of the key aspects of the American dream. This is the idea behind the welfare state. The general concept of the welfare state is rather simplistic; create more

The Labour Government as The Creator Of The Welfare State

1502 words - 6 pages The Labour Government as The Creator Of The Welfare State A Welfare State is a system in which the government undertakes responsibility for the well being of its population, through unemployment insurance, old age pensions and other social security measures. In order to achieve this the Labour Government of 1945-51 introduced a number of reforms, including the National Insurance Act of 1946 and the Education Act. They

Has the welfare state created a dependency culture

1779 words - 7 pages This essay about has the welfare state created a welfare dependency culture is going to look at single parents who are trying to go back to work, job seekers allowance, one of new labours Christians, Frank Field, Bill Jordan and Marsland. Firstly In order to answer this question the essay will look at what is meant by the words welfare dependency. Welfare dependency is a situation where people on welfare, such as those receiving unemployment

How Successful Has the Welfare State Been in Delivering Equality?

2288 words - 9 pages The majority of those who have a reasonably satisfactory understanding of the welfare state will agree that the definition entails; a nation whereby the government undertake appropriate action to ensure the provision of social goods and benefits. These welfare programs are usually provided at public expense with little or no cost to the recipient of the services. Policy prescriptions advanced by proponents of the welfare state emphasise

The Australian Welfare State and How to Kick it

1498 words - 6 pages therefore asking for increasing welfare dependency and an overall counterproductive and potentially problematic system. With the Centre for Independent Studies release of their TArget 30 campaign to reduce the size of Government expenditure below 30% of GDP over the next 10 years Works Cited Saunders, P 2004, The Australian Welfare State and How to Kick it, Duffy and Snellgrove, Sydney.

The Welfare State and Government Responses to Economic Openness

1692 words - 7 pages The Welfare State and Government Responses to Economic Openness I. Introduction Economic openness is the phenomenon in which individual economies from all over the world become increasingly connected and interdependent through greater liberalization of trade and the vast movement of goods, services, and capital across borders. With the rise of globalization, positive effects have resulted from economic openness. The widespread benefits of

Development of the Welfare State in Britain 1900-1948

1961 words - 8 pages creation of labour exchanges in 1909. In 1909 Beveridge argued that the labour exchanges were transition to a more humane treatment of paupers and were less expensive and more successful than the workhouses (Beveridge, 1909). It was the Liberal Welfare Reforms of 1906-1914 that laid the foundations for the modern British Welfare state. One view is that policies such as free school meals were introduced after Britain experienced difficulty signing up

The role of the media in British political state

1204 words - 5 pages The media plays an extremely important role within the British political system, even if one doesn't imagine so to begin with. All world events are informed to the public via the media as they give us a framework for understanding past, present and future events. Our political world is changing every day and to keep up with our changing world one needs a source that is changing along with the world as well. The functions of the media it has been

Similar Essays

The Social Welfare State Essay

3767 words - 15 pages The social welfare state that existed for over 60 years in the United States, AFDC in particular, failed to lift its recipients out of poverty, or encourage them to leave poverty behind on their own. (Epstein, 1997) AFDC and other welfare entitilement programs merely eased poverty. (Epstein, 1997) They provided some financial assistance to many people temporarily, and many others for extended periods of time, but in either case they provided no

The Modern Welfare State Essay

2621 words - 10 pages cooperation and support (welfare). It is this process of the increasing role of the state or the government in social welfare (Gladstone; 2000) that has given rise to the concept of the welfare state. Gladstone (2000) has traced the foundations of the modern welfare state (at least in British politics) to the period between 1884 and 1914. To him this period witnessed a pivotal change both in ideas and actions as it saw “a re-negotiation of the

The State Of Welfare Essay

1044 words - 4 pages The welfare system in the United States performs a wide variety of functions to assist people who have fallen onto hard times. Welfare programs are an evolution of the British Poor Laws whose roots lie in basic charity and the human ideology that one should aid those less fortunate. Today’s welfare system , being controlled by the state and federal governments are by no means perfect, but they do provide a more stable form of assistance so

The Austrian Welfare State Essay

1516 words - 6 pages THE AUSTRIAN WELFARE STATE PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT3 The Austrian Welfare StateAbstractThis paper gives a brief insight into the Austrian welfare state. Rooted in the late 19th century the Austrian welfare state developed various social programs for the wellbeing of its citizens like for example: free education, insurances or family allowances. Taking a closer look at the historical development as well as the current situation, some challenges for
Business class week 5 Reflections paper | Watch Movie | Juli 2009