Over the last 200 years Britain has witnessed profound changes in the nature and extent of state welfare. Drawing on the latest historical and social science research The Origins of the British Welfare State looks at the main developments in the history of social welfare provision in this period. It looks at the nature of problems facing British society in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries and shows how these provided the foundation for the growth of both statutory and welfare provision in the areas of health, housing, education and the relief of poverty. It also examines the role played by the Liberal government of 1906-14 in reshaping the boundaries of public welfare provision and shows how the momentous changes associated with the First and Second World Wars paved the way for the creation of the 'classic' welfare state after 1945.
This comprehensive and broad-ranging yet accessible account encourages the reader to question the 'inevitability' of present-day arrangements and provides an important framework for comparative analysis. It will be essential reading for all concerned with social policy, British social history and public policy.
BERNARD HARRIS is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde, UK.
Introduction.- The Growth of State Intervention.- Britain in the Age of Industrial Growth.- The New Poor Law and the Relief of Poverty, 1834-1914.- Charity and Philanthropy in the Nineteenth-century.- Welfare from Below: Self-help and Mutual Aid.- Medicine and Health Care in the Nineteenth-century.- Public Health in the Nineteenth-century.- Housing Policy and Housing Conditions, 1800-1914.- Education and Schooling, 1800-1914.- The Liberal Welfare Reforms, 1906-14.- The First World War and Social Policy.- Voluntary Action and the 'New Philanthropy', 1914-39.- Unemployment and Poverty Between the Wars.- Health and Medical Care, 1918-39.- Housing Policy Between the Wars.- Education Policy Between the Wars.- The Second World War and After.- Notes.- Further Reading.