The Edwardian Age
After the death of Queen Victoria, her son Edward VII became king. His reign lasted from 1901 to 1910 but was characterised by many social changes.
• The Entente Cordiale in 1904: an agreement in which was stated that Britain could pursue its interest in Egypt, and France in Morocco
• A new alignment of Europe: Britain, France and Russia; Germany, Austria and Italy
• The introduction of the “Daily Mail” (1896), that offered simple and short articles for everybody, and cost only half a penny
• The foundation of the Women’s Social and Political Union, by Emmeline Pankhurst (1903), which demanded vote for women. They held many riots and believed in “Deeds not Words”.
• The extension and electrification of the London underground (1905)
• The Liberals won the general election in 1906: the party was divided into two groups, the traditionalists and the New Liberals, who thought that the government had the responsibility to look after the poor
• The Children’s Charter (1906-08): a series of laws to help children
• The introduction of a minimum pension of £21 a year
• The fixation of minimum wages (1909)
• The Welfare State (1911)
• The Parliament Act (1911), with which was stated the House of Lords couldn’t reject a bill about money anymore, and that general elections would be at least every 5 years
• Vote for women aged over 30 (1918)
The Irish Republic
The first time the Irish Republic was proclaimed was on Easter Monday 1916. Two years after the rebellion had been crushed, in 1918, the Irish set up an Irish Parliament in Dublin and proclaimed for the second time the birth of their Republic. In 1919 the Irish Volunteers became the Irish Republican Army and in 1921 the Irish Free State was established under the leadership of Eamon de Valera, while the six predominantly protestant states stayed under the domain of the British Empire, with their own parliament in Belfast. The official proclamation of the Republic of Ireland took place in 1949.