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May 24 , 2009

Social Welfare in Britain 1885-1985


This collection of documents follows the same format as Pope and Hoyle’s British Economic Performance (1984), to provide a survey of the main developments in social welfare. Students of economic and social history and of social policy and administration are being required to do more and more work with original documents, and this collection is tailored to meet their needs.

The primary sources are presented in two sections, covering the periods 1885-c. 1940 and c. 1940 to 1985. During the former, ideas on, and the scope of, welfare provision, broadened greatly. There was a sense of progress. Developments though were piecemeal. There was no conception of a ‘Welfare State’. The second period begins with the changes associated with the assumption that Britain was establishing a Welfare State. But the hopes of 1940 have not been fulfilled, and there has been growing speculation about the value of such an organisation of society.

The extracts reflect these changes. They are grouped under the headings to facilitate reference. Students at all levels, especially A-level, first degree and professional training courses, will find the book a valuable resource. Materials included are drawn from minutes of evidence, newspapers, political party publications and professional bodies and groups.

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