In the years 1906-08 the Liberal Government at that time introduced reforms that affected the children at the time; including the Children Act in 1908 that made parental neglect illegal, Education Act in 1906 that made free school meals available. There were a number of reasons at this time as to why these acts were introduced including fear of the Labor Party growth, the reports published by Booth and Renowned, and the emergence of New Liberalism In the Liberal Party.
Labor Party growth was a key factor In the Liberal Governments desire to Introduce reforms affecting children as the Labor Part was emerging as the party for the working class, a position that the Liberals had previously held. In the 1906 elections the Labor Party had gained 30 seats where previously they had held 2 after the 1900 election, between 1907-09 they also made some gains in by elections.
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David Lloyd George summarized the position of the Liberal Government In a speech where he said that the only way to guarantee Liberal support was through reform. This meant that wrought the years’ Job 1906-08 the Liberal government passed reforms that affected children as it was hoped it would guarantee support from the parents of the working class as it would be clear that the Liberal Government was interested in helping the working class.
Growth of the Liberal Party also resulted in the development of New Liberalism in the Liberal Party which also contributed to the reforms for children. Secondly the Liberal government Introduced a series of reforms for children between 1906-08 because of the emergence of New Liberalism In the Liberal Party. New Liberalism was the belief that if some people to achieve freedom and happiness may need state help if they cannot support themselves.
As children have no recourse for helping themselves it was thought that they should be given help so that in they could be happy and not have to live in poverty. One of the key believers in New Liberalism at the time was Acquits was taught by T H Green who was also a great advocate of New Liberalism; Acquits took over as Prime Minister after the resignation In 1908 of chamberlains allowing the New Liberals a greater say In the polices f the government which lead to the additional reforms in 1908 to do with Education.
New Liberalism itself sprung out of the greater awareness of the poverty and the causes of it sue to reports by people such as booth and Renowned. Finally in the years 1906-08 reforms affecting children were Introduced due to a greater knowledge of poverty Itself. It had been discovered by Renowned that 30% of the population In London was living below the poverty line, In York Booth estimated that 28% of the population was living below the poverty line.
Both reports showed that it as not always the fault of the poor that they were living in poverty. This at the awareness of how poor the provision for the poor was meant that some non- conformists within the party thought that more should be done by the state to help the poor. The Liberals were the party for non-conformists and so reforms were Introduced to help children to show that the views of some non-conformists were Introduction of reforms affecting children during 1906-08 was the Liberals’ worry over the growth of the Liberal Party.
While the creation of New Liberalism did play a factor here was a relatively small number within the party that were New Liberalizes and they only really had a major say after 1908 as Campbell-Banner had been a traditional Liberalism. It is evident then that it was the Labor Party growth because Liberals wanted to keep hold of power and knew that in order for this to occur at the next election the vote of the working class would need to be secured. It was realized that the only way for this to happen was for reform to take place throughout the country including reforms that were affecting children.