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POVERTY AND PAUPERISM: Why were some people dissatisfied with the treatment of paupers by 1834?

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Introduction

History: Coursework Question 3 Why were some people dissatisfied with the treatment of paupers by 1834? Some people were dissatisfied with the treatment of paupers by 1834 because it was not an efficient system, this is because the system was based on the old Poor Law of 1601. There were many problems with the old poor law. Some of the criticisms were of Outdoor relief which continued to be the most popular form of relief for the able-bodied poor even though the law described that "the poor should be set to work". In 1795 the Speenhamland system was introduced as a system of outdoor relief - again there was variation within the system with some parishes subsidising with food and others with money. Some parishes were more generous than others - there was no equality to the system. There were also issues with settlement, The 1601 Act states that each individual parish was responsible for its 'own' poor. Arguments over which parish was responsible for a pauper's poor relief and concerns over migration to more generous parishes led to the passing ...read more.

Middle

Bristol even managed a private act of parliament in 1696 which allowed the city to create a 'manufactory' so that the profits from the paupers work could be used for maintenance of the poor relief system. Due to all this the cost was rising, low wages were given, larger wages/allowances were being demanded because low wages were given, employers were being threatened. The cost of Poor Relief was rising rapidly, it had risen to nearly �8 million. This is four times the amount it had been in 1785. The Swing Riots was also had a major impact and expressed the feelings of paupers. It was an uprising by the rural workers of the arable south and east of England in 1830. Following years of war, high taxes and low wages, farm labourers finally snapped in 1830. These farm labourers had faced unemployment for a number of years due to the widespread introduction of the threshing machine and the policy of enclosing fields. ...read more.

Conclusion

a 'manufactory' so that the profits from the paupers work could be used for maintenance of the poor relief system, I don't think that was there actual objective rich people just wanted to get richer and keep the poor relief as low as possible but they couldn't totally ignore the poor because the population was rapidly on the up which meant so was the poor relief. In 1819 Select Vestries were set up - these were committees set up in each parish whom were responsible for Poor Law administration because there were concerns over corruption within the system as contracts for supplying food and beer often went to local traders or these vestries. Problems like these brought about Gilbert's Act which was passed in 1782 to combat the excessive costs of outdoor relief. It promoted indoor alternatives and allowed parishes to combine for the impotent poor. However outdoor relief was still used to help to able-bodied poor. I think the base of the problems was the authority of the parishes which was abused together with other things discussed above. By Omair Hussain ...read more.

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