Download Access to History: Britain 1900-51 by Michael Lynch PDF

By Michael Lynch

This name covers the main financial, political and social problems with the interval. It specializes in the altering fortunes of the political events on the time and the ways that they have been laid low with the affects of the 2 international wars. The pressures for social reform during the interval also are analysed.

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Access to History: Britain 1900-51

This name covers the most important monetary, political and social problems with the interval. It specializes in the altering fortunes of the political events on the time and the ways that they have been stricken by the affects of the 2 global wars. The pressures for social reform during the interval also are analysed.

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H. Asquith, speech in Gloucestershire, 1903 The senior Liberal politician who led the party’s opposition to Chamberlain’s tariff reform campaign makes the case for keeping the policy of free trade: You cannot retaliate against your foreign competitors without taxing raw materials and food. Tariff Reform is a proposal to tax British industry, to tax the food of the people, and so lower their wages. It is a scheme based on unproved assumptions. In fact, there is no ground for saying either that British trade is stagnating and in decline, or that the Empire can only be maintained by going back to measures of Protection which Pre-War Britain, 1900–11 | 35 were found inadequate in earlier times.

George had proposed special taxes on rich landowners to pay for old age pensions (see page 23). The Unionists decided to resist the budget on the grounds that it was an unprecedented attack upon the rights of property. They argued that this entitled them to ignore the long-standing convention that the Lords did not interfere with finance bills. Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer and a strong opponent of aristocratic privilege, thought the whole affair could be turned to the Liberals’ advantage.

Key term Despite the Trade Disputes Act of 1906 (see page 21), the years preceding the First World War were a particularly troubled period for the trade unions. By 1912 the cost of living was fourteen per cent higher than in 1906 and unemployment had risen sharply during the same period. Despite the Liberal welfare measures, the gap between rich and poor was widening. Furthermore, the presence of Labour Party MPs in the Commons did not appear to have brought any clear benefits to the workers. Faced with these failures, many trade unionists began to doubt whether the existing political structure could ever be made to respond to working-class needs.

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