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The Origins Of The Welfare State

Introduction - The Origins Of The Welfare State

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Although the idea of a welfare state originated before World War II, its implementation and analysis began after World War II. Subsequent assessments of its necessity have led to the enactment of appropriate legislation and the determination of alternative policies in this regard. In many cases, new laws are seen to be a source of trouble rather than a public good, however, since these laws are flexible for the public good, they are always effective.

1. Understand what is meant by the termwelfare state.

The welfare state is a social network and institute that supports the welfare of the people. In a state where the ruling government promotes and protects its citizens economically for some reason, it is called a welfare state. In this case, the government provides economic benefits to those who are unable to earn for certain reasons. Among the reasons for the inability of certain people to earn are old age, accidents, illness, or unemployment. According to Tayloret al, (2019), the government of the welfare state provides equal opportunities to its citizens, with equal distribution of financial aid and responsibility, so that the underprivileged can lead a better and healthier life. The term welfare state was invented in the United States during World War II. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the process or strategy of the welfare state has expanded as the need for social development has increased among states. According to Wilsonet al, (2021), the process refers to the state's politics, economy, market, and family well-being as part of society.In addition, financially disadvantaged people are protected from market-related risks through government-run welfare state programs.

2.The purpose of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act and itseffects on society.

2.1 Explanation of the contents of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act

According to Fujimura (2018), in early 1834, the new Poor Law was enacted by Edwin Chadwick, John Bird Sumner, and Nassau William Senior., although Chadwick was not satisfied with the possible consequences of this law. In the case of enactment of this law, it is mentioned that to get government economic benefits, poor tribals and people have to live and work in the workshop. In addition to these services, the government will look after the food, clothing, and health issues of the people and will also provide some financial incentives. In addition to this, if the poor young boys and girls move to the workshop with their families, then at least those children will be given minimum education. However, to create opportunities for children's education, their families have to work overtime and provide services in the workshop. According to the law, a parish must build at least one workshop in its occupied area so that local people can get government facilities, instead of providing their services. However, not all Victorian rulers agreed with the law, and many prominent figures, such as Richard Oastler, called the new law "Prisons for the Poor."

2.2 Evaluation of the purpose of the 1834 Poor LawAmendment Act

Poverty has always existed in any state, so the government has to bear the responsibility of taking care of the health and livelihood of the people living below the poverty line. According to Griffin(2020), before 1834, the cost of subsistence for those who fell below the poverty line was enormous. The financial resources required for these expenses were paid by the upper- and middle-class people through various taxes. However, later on, as a result of all these financial and health benefits being provided by the government, a large section of the poor community either neglected their work or became lazy. As a result, the productivity of the state or territory tends to decline. According to Rothery(2020), for several years, requests were made to high-ranking officials to solve such problems, and the Poor Act of 1834 was enacted. According to the law, people living below the poverty line will be given government benefits instead of being provided a fixed working hour service. As a service center, parishes are ordered to build one or more workshops in their area. In this case, the parish is divided into separate unions so that they can build and conduct workshops according to a specific field. At that time, more than 1,500 parishes were divided into 600 separate unions. According to Chandler(2019), all of these workshops will be staffed by people from any of the poorer communities, they will be provided with uniforms to wear, and food to improve their health, in exchange for their services. In addition to this, in case of improvement of education, that will also be provided to the children of the employees instead of working overtime. The enactment of this law enabled the lazy poor in the society of that time to be made functional so that the productivity of the state and territory as a whole would increase and the economy would prosper.

2.3 Effect of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act on society.

Although it seems that the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act enforcement is capable of achieving overall success. According to Rawson (2019), its strict rules caused fear and dissatisfaction among the poor people and it later started a revolt. Poor people would have to leave their homes and go to work in a workshop far away, they would be separated from their families because under the new law they would be able to get government benefits through the provision of their services. In these workshops, men and women, old and young alike, were usually involved in manual labor such as mineral extraction or oakum plucking. In most cases, minors or underage children were also employed in workshops such as coal mining. According to Melanderet al, (2021), the polluted environment of the workshop and the monotonous food cause misery to the poor people. The proliferation of scandal-related incidents, most of which involve these workshops, has increased since the introduction of the new Poor Law. This law has not been in effect for a long time, as its legal weakness increases the suffering of the poor beyond their means and they later revolted to change the law.

3. Explain and discuss early twentieth-century Liberal Reforms andtheir effect on society.

Laws enacted by the government to provide financial assistance to people living below the poverty line are based on a total of five liberal reforms. These liberal reforms are discussed below to help them formulate welfare policy.

Reform for Young:According to Zajda (2020),if the welfare policy is formulated following, the Education (Provision of Meals) Act 1906, Education (Administrative Provisions) Act 1907, Children's Act (The Children's Charter) 1908, then the minors will be able to live a healthy life by getting government benefits.

Reforms for Old Age: The Old Age Pensions Act 1908 provides financial assistance of 1 to 5 shillings per week for persons above 70 years of age. According to this law, it will be possible to provide financial assistance through the selection of suitable persons by formulating a policy.

Reforms for the sick:National Insurance Act (Part 1) 1911 officially provides life insurance to those earning less than £ 160 a year. According to Williams(2020), with this law, welfare policy can easily help sick people.

Reforms for the unemployed: The welfare policy created by the use of the Labor Exchanges Act 1909 can ensure the employment of new employees. In addition, the National Insurance Act (Part 2) 1911 provides a minimum of 7 ceilings per week of financial assistance to a non-employed person, ensuring the health of the person.

Reforms for Working Classes: The Workmen's Compensation Act 1906, The Coal Mines Regulation Act 1908, The Trade Boards Act 1909, The Shops Act 1911 Housing and Town, Planning Act 1909 Welfare Policy Will be able to provide opportunities for healthy and normal living.

4.Recognize the significance of the Beveridge Report.

In the context of 1942, there was an outbreak of war. It was in this context that Beveridge, working for the Toynbee Hall charity in London, was drawn to the problems of social inequality of the time. According to Hicksonet al, (2022), Beveridge understands that charitable contributions alone are not enough to improve society, which requires the use of government planning powers. In 1942, William Beveridge published a report entitled Social Insurance and Allied Services. The situation in the society was pointed out by this report as five monsters in total. The report says that if these trafficking social monsters are tackled, it will be possible to establish a healthy and normal society.

From the cradle to the grave:According to Charles Goddard(2018), one of the main objectives of the Beveridge Report is to provide a comprehensive system of government insurance to working people in the community. In this case, the working persons will make a weekly contribution to the government of the particular state, instead of which in the future the government will provide benefits to the unemployed, sick, widowed, or retired members present in the family of the said person. By applying this principle, it is possible to ensure that a person does not have to live below the minimum standard of living. In 1942, it was natural for the poorest sections of the society to be blamed for their low standard of living, but even then, there were charitable organizations, but they still did not understand the need for financial assistance. However, at present, the poorest members of society are getting benefits like free school meals, weekly pension incentives, and employment through the implementation of this policy.

Banish poverty and 'want' from Britain:The main objective of this report was to remove issues like Want and poverty from the society through the application of specific laws and principles. In addition, in the post-war period, services such as Social Security and National Health Insurance were implemented in Britain. William Beveridge later became known as a visionary and renowned economist. And his Social Insurance and Allied Services report still serves as a blueprint for social networking.

5. Recognize the social problems which the Welfare State attempted toaddress.

Disease: According to Powell (2022), people living below the poverty line cannot treat their illnesses, Beveridge reports. It pollutes society and creates an unhealthy environment. Appropriate health insurance service laws can be enacted to protect society from these problems.

Want: The demand of the society increases due to its poverty. Therefore, to alleviate the poverty of society, it is necessary to enact laws to provide adequate financial assistance so that no person has to live below the poverty line.

Squalor:According to Golightleyet al, (2018), poor housing indicates poor health of the people in the society. Therefore, it is possible to provide health care to the people of the society by providing financial assistance for the proper housing plan.

Ignorance: Due to the low illiteracy rate of the people present in society, negligence towards their educational qualifications can be noticed, which further accelerates the illiteracy rate in society. In this case, it is possible to make the society interested in getting education through the formulation of an appropriate education plan and legal facilities.

Idleness: Due to the lack of proper skills of the people in the society, they often fall victim to unemployment and on the other hand, they do not get jobs due to the low presence of work in the market. This kind of unemployment-related problem needs to be eliminated to eliminate laziness in society. According to Aravacik(2018), in this case, employment needs to be provided through the formulation of appropriate welfare policies so that people can learn and apply appropriate skills-related skills.


By observing and evaluating all the issues discussed, it can be concluded that by creating a welfare state, it is possible to provide good health and a better life to the citizens of any state. An appropriate and flexible welfare policy is required to build an ideal welfare state. In this case, it is possible to formulate an appropriate welfare policy in terms of various welfare laws. The report, produced by Beveridge, also states that it is possible to build a healthy society by alleviating the problems like Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idealism.

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Aravacik, E.D., (2018). Social policy and the welfare state. In Public Economics and Finance. IntechOpen.

Chandler, M., (2019). The Welsh were extremely is resistant to an English imposition'. How distinctive were pauper's provisions in Anglesey and its implementation of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act?

Charles Goddard, J., (2018). 70 years of the NHS–from cradle to grave?. Trends in Urology & Men's Health, 9(4), pp.33-35.

Fujimura, S., (2018). Nassau William Senior and the Poor Laws: Why Workhouses Improved the Industriousness of the Poor. History of Economics Review, 70(1), pp.49-59.

Golightly, M. and Holloway, M., (2018). Social Work and the Five Giant Evils. British Journal of Social Work, 48(1), pp.1-4.

Griffin, C.J., (2020). Measuring need: Speenhamland, hunger, and universal pauperism. In The politics of hunger. Manchester University Press.

Hickson, K. and Williams, B., (2022). The Beveridge Report at 80. Political Insight, 13(1), pp.26-29.

Melander, E. and Miotto, M., (2021). Welfare cuts and crime: Evidence from the New Poor Law. The University of Warwick, Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, Department of Economics.

Powell, M., 2022. Framing Beveridge. Social Policy & Administration, 56(2), pp.217-229.

Rawson, G., (2019). Poor relief administration in the 1840s, and its effect on the poor: the Carlton Gilbert Incorporation, and Holbeck, Leeds. Northern History, 56(1-2), pp.78-96.

Rothery, K., (2020). The Power of Personality in the Operation of the New Poor Law. Genealogy, 4(1), p.11.

Taylor-Gooby, P., Hvinden, B., Mau, S., Leruth, B., Schoyen, M.A., and Gyory, A., (2019). Moral economies of the welfare state: A qualitative comparative study. Acta Sociologica, 62(2), pp.119-134.

Wilson, T. and Wilson, D.J., (2021). The political economy of the welfare state. Routledge.

Zajda, J. ed., (2020). Globalisation, ideology and neo-liberal higher education reforms. Dordrecht: Springer.

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