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The Winding Road to the Welfare State$
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George R. Boyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691178738

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691178738.001.0001

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What Was Gained

What Was Gained

(p.286) 9 What Was Gained
The Winding Road to the Welfare State

George R. Boyer

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the book's major findings. The road to the welfare state of the 1940s was not a wide and straight thoroughfare through Victorian and Edwardian Britain. As the previous chapters have made clear, the story of British social policy from 1830 to 1950 is really two separate stories joined together in the years immediately before the Great War. The first is a tale of increasing stinginess toward the poor by the central and local governments, while the second is the story of the construction of a national safety net, culminating in the Beveridge Report and Labour's social policies of 1946–48. The prototype for the welfare reforms of the twentieth century cannot be found in the Victorian Poor Law. The chapter then offers some thoughts regarding the reasons for the shifts in social welfare policy from the 1830s to the 1940s.

Keywords:   welfare state, British social policy, Beveridge Report, social policies, welfare reforms, Poor Law, social welfare policy

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