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The Origins of the British Welfare State


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BERNARD HARRIS is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Southampton. He has published widely in the areas of the history of social policy and social welfare, and anthropometric history.

Table of Contents

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.

About the Author

Bernard Harris is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Southampton. He has published widely in the areas of the history of social policy and social welfare, and anthropometric history.


'An important and very accessible addition to the range of literature exploring the foundations and development of the welfare state in Britain is Bernard Harris's The Origins of the British Welfare State. As well as providing a comprehensive analysis of welfare state developments, this text also explores the various historical approaches to studying welfare (its historiography)...[It]is a particularly useful and very readable account of the establishment and development of the welfare state in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.' - Introducing Social Policy, Cliff Alcock, Guy Daly and Edwin Griggs (London: Pearson Longman, 2008) 'Overall, this is a first-rate study of the period in question. Harris has succeeded in providing a highly informative and engaging review of the development of the welfare state. There is no doubt that it will quickly find its way on to the bookshelves of students and scholars in history, social policy and related areas.' - Robert Page, Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 394-5 'This book...provides both a comprehensive introduction to welfare policy and one further reason why the temptation to write medical history as if it were an academic ghetto can be resisted.' - Rodney Lowe, Medical History 'Bernard Harris has provided us with a welcome, well-written and well-researched, and much-needed new history of social welfare in England and Wales. The book...should become a standard text for students of both social history and social policy.' - John Stewart, Reader in the Department of History, Oxford Brookes University, UK

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