At the turn of the 20th century, Victorian-era ended in England with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. England signed the Entente Cordiale with France, which ended centuries of sporadic conflict and paving the way to future diplomatic and military co-operation in 1904. The political environment was also changing rapidly across the country, the Women’s Social and Political Union started the Suffrage movement.
Life was hard for the working class at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1900 surveys showed that between 15% and 20% of the population were living at subsistence (bare survival) level. In 1906 a Liberal government was elected and they laid the foundations of what would become known as the welfare state. The heavy taxation on inherited wealth put an end to agricultural land as the primary source of wealth for the upper classes. The Old Age Pensions Act of 1908 gave small pensions to people over 70. On 4 August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany.
Here below are some stunning historical photos that offer a glimpse into the everyday life of England from the early 20th century. Vote your favorites and don’t forget to share.