chapter  6
32 Pages

The Development of Social Policy, 1800–1945

ByBernard Harris

The period between 1800 and 1945 saw many changes in welfare policy. At the start of this period, most people relied on their families and local communities for support in times of need, and central government played very little role in the provision of welfare services. However, by 1945 the state played a much greater role in the provision of a wide range of services, covering all the main areas of social policy. This chapter provides

an introduction to the development of public welfare policy during this period by examining the following issues:

■ the initial growth of state welfare intervention before circa 1870;

■ changing attitudes to welfare provision between 1870 and 1900;

■ the Liberal welfare reforms of 1906-14;

■ the development of social policy between 1914 and 1939;

■ the impact of the Second World War on the development of the ‘welfare state’.