Margaret McMillan

Ellen Ross

in Slum Travelers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249059
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940055 | DOI:
Margaret McMillan

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This chapter focuses on Margaret McMillan, who was involved in labor politics, liberal reformism, and welfare philanthropism. After finishing her education in Germany and Switzerland, McMillan became a governess among well-off families. In 1893, Margaret moved to Bradford where she had a teaching job. In Bradford, she joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) and served three terms on the School Board. Here, she worked for the improvement of children's health. Through her writings and public speaking, she made the local issues of Bradford a national concern. These included the half-time system, school medical care, and publicly funded school meals. McMillan served as a crucial figure in the history of Labour and socialist thought. Through her experiences in Bradford and Deptford, she became aware of the class advantages of the wealthy. For her, true social justice means extending such advantages to the children of the poorest classes. She also focused on the failure of the Labour government to consider issues such as housing, food, and health care. McMillan was one of the pioneering minds behind working-class and “welfare”politics. This chapter offers two of Margaret's writings, which focused on poor children.

Keywords: Margaret McMillan; labor politics; liberal reformism; welfare philanthropism; school medical care; welfare politics

Chapter.  4919 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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