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Why Did the Welfare State Happen?

  • Date Submitted: 05/07/2012 06:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51 
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Why did the Welfare State happen in the 1940s?
This essay will discuss the beginning of the welfare state, the liberal reforms, the importance of the labour party, and Beveridges role within the welfare state and how it came to be.
The welfare state was established by 1945-51. The Labour government is generally recognized as representing a crucial development in welfare provision. An enquiry was established in 1941 to propose how best to further develop the state welfare. William Beveridge a chairman of a committee of civil servants charged with inquiring into the whole field of social insurance. The beverage report of 1942 emerged from the work of this committee. It followed hard on the heels of the Allies' first major victory of World War Two. Implementing Beveridge was immediately seen as part of winning the peace. It used the rhetoric of war to call for a war on the ‘five giant evils’ of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness’. (Fulcher J and Scott J, 2003).
The idea was to have security 'from the cradle to the grave'. It was a proposal for conquering Want, one of the five giants Beveridge declared should be slain by way of post-war reconstruction. Beveridges proposals were a social security system to cover entire population, Benefits available to support in a crisis that disrupts their income, Benefits should be at a set level that was adequate to provide the means to live, A national health system to look after anyone who was sick and direct government spending to keep employment levels high. (Murray, 2006).
The Landslide Labour victory in the 1945 election was unexpected and surprised both party leaders, both Attlee and Churchill, presumably because of the euphoria of victory and the achievements of Churchill as a war leader. The nation was expressing an opinion not on the previous five years but on the decade before that. The last election in 1935 was a belated judgement passed on the depression years of the 1930s, for as one journalist...

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