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					   Essay

5th Year Higher
Assess the impact of the welfare
reforms of the Labour Government
on the lives of the British people.
    What is the question asking you to do?
•Have to assess the impact of the welfare reforms
on the British people. Did the reforms have a
positive or negative impact of the lives of the
British population?
•The word assess means that you have to examine
each key reform area and arrive at a conclusion
regarding their impact. Examine both positive and
negative arguments.
•Timescale: You need to examine the period 1944-
1951. Set the scene - why were the reforms
introduced? Once this is done you can begin to
examine each reform area.
                   Essay Plan

•Line of Argument in essay: How did the reforms
help individual groups of people in Britain?
•Focus on the ‘five giants’: want, disease,
ignorance, squalor and idleness. How successful
were the Reform Acts in solving these problems?
•Also examine/discuss individual groups - How
did the Reforms help: children, sick, those unable
to work, people in poverty and those in poor
housing? These are ideas that can be referred to
in your essay.
      Introduction - General Ideas


•Your opening sentence should grab the
attention of the marker straight away. Perhaps a
key question or a quote. Something that
highlights the aim of your essay and gives you
the opportunity to refer back to.
•Outline how you are going to answer the
question - What are your key arguments? Also
aim to ask questions.
•Ensure that there is always a link to each
paragraph - a statement or sentence.
       Introduction - Specific Ideas

Opening sentence: some suggestions - Many
historians believe that the Labour Welfare
Reforms of 1945-51 enhanced the lives of the
British people. However, was this actually
the case? or
‘’ This is the greatest advance in our history.
There can be no turning point. From now on
Beveridge is not the name of a man; it is the
name of a way of life’’. (‘The Five Giants’ by
Nicholas Timmins’)
         Introduction - Specific Ideas

Comment of the importance of this quote - it is referring
to the positive impact of the Welfare Reforms. Create a
line of argument using this quote - were the Labour
Welfare Reforms successful in improving the lives of the
British public?

Line of argument - create questions in your introduction
that can be argued/answered later. Did the reforms
manage to provide an efficient health service?
Link paragraphs - It is clear to see that there are many
arguments about the reforms but why were they
introduced?
     Main Body of Essay - General Ideas
Ensure that you always refer back to the question - make
sure you don’t just ‘tell the story’ of the reforms -
actually assess the impact they had.

Include detailed, specific evidence to support the
point/argument of the paragraph. Make sure you include
a topic sentence - what is the key argument of this
paragraph?

Support your points by referring to debates/references
from Historians. When planning your essay, note down
key quotes and debates. Again - make sure you always
provide a link to the next paragraph.
Main Body of Essay - Specific Ideas - Paragraph One

 •Focus on why the reforms were introduced.
 Key argument idea - these are the problems the
 Labour Government had to deal with - were
 they successful in overcoming them?
 •Public wanted social change after the war.
 Wanted to create a ‘land fit for heroes’.
 Evacuation illustrated serious health problems.
 •These are the reasons why the reforms were
 introduced - refer to the question: the scene was
 now set - would the government respond to
 these challenges?
Main Body of Essay - Key points/Arguments
•Five Giants idea -
                        •This paragraph should
‘want’ - this area
                        focus on the idea of ‘want’ -
was dealt with in the
                        outline the principles of the
Beveridge Report of
                        Beveridge Report. Need to
1942 - British public
                        also examine the creation of
had got what they
                        a state insurance fund -
wanted. Report sold
                        social security, family
636,000 copies -
                        allowances. How successful
massive amount.
                        was the government in
This would be the
                        meeting the needs of those
foundations for the
                        ill or injured?
Labour Government
        Main Body of Essay - Key
   Points/Arguments: Paragraph should
               focus on:
• Disease would be       • Did all medics co-
  dealt with by the        operate with the
  creation of a new        new system?
  Health Service.        • Were all the
• How successful was       hospitals run and
  this new service in      operated smoothly?
  meeting the needs of   • Did the government
  the British public?      underestimate the
• Was a common             demands to be
  standard of care         placed on this new
  throughout the           service?
  country created?
      Main Body of Essay - Key
 Points/Arguments: Paragraph should
             focus on:
                          • Remember, higher
• Idleness would be
                            number of workers
  improved by the
                            were needed to pay
  state aiming for full
                            contributions to the
  employment.
                            new Social Security
• What policies did         System.
  the Government
                          • Was this actually
  introduce to
                            achieved?
  improve
  employment?             • Remember, to keep
                            linking paragraphs.
• Were they
  successful?
       Main Body of Essay - Key
  Points/Arguments: Paragraph should
              focus on:
• Ignorance would be    • Were the prospects
  dealt with by           of the Working
  reforming the           Class improved?
  education system.     • Was there enough
• What about children     teachers to
  with no support or      implement this
  family?                 legislation?
• How successful was    • Did these reforms
  the 1944 Education      satisfy the demands
  Act?                    of the public?
       Main Body of Essay - Key
  Points/Arguments: Paragraph should
              focus on:
• Squalor was be           • Were they successful
  tacked through a           in dealing with these
  new house-building         problems?
  programme and a          • What acts were
  slum clearance             passed to deal with
  scheme.                    this shortage of
• What problems (lack        housing?
  of housing) did the      • Were ‘new towns’
  new government             created and the issue
  inherit after the war?     of overcrowding
                             solved?
        Main Body of Essay - Key
   Points/Arguments: Paragraph should
               focus on:
• Take two              • You can provide
  paragraphs to focus     answers to the
  on summarising how      questions/argument
  the reforms helped      s you should be
  (if they did)           creating in your
  individual groups.      essay.
• Refer back to the     • Have you linked
  plan to remind          paragraphs?
  yourself of the       • Have you created a
  individual groups.      line of argument and
                          not just told a story?
     Conclusion - General Points

• Make sure the         • It does answer the
  conclusion always       question and ‘wraps’
  refers back to the      up all the key points.
  question (you         • ‘Despite these
  should be always        charges, the
  doing this in the       achievement of the
  main body of your       Labour government
  essay anyway).          1945-51 was
• Address the issue       considerable, The
  and assess the          NHS was the envy
  impact of the           of the world and
  reforms on Britain.     Labour
       Conclusion - General Points

• could justifiably claim       •How important
  that people were cared        were the Liberal
  for ‘’from the cradle to      reforms at the start
  the grave’’.
                                of the century in
• There you go - that is
                                creating the
  an ending for the
  conclusion - try to fill in   ‘building blocks’
  the rest of the               for Labour?
  conclusion.

				
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