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Poor Law - Source related study.

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Introduction

POOR LAW COURSEWORK 1. We can learn from source A, which was written in December 1835, that the cost was effected by the new poor law in Uckfield. This source was written in the same year that the New Poor Law was applied to Uckfield. In the years 1831, 1832 and 1833, �1386 was being spent on the workhouse but �836 less was being spent when the new poor law was introduced. Also, because the conditions were made worse, more people wanted to get out of the workhouse and get employed, whereas before, people stayed in to get relief. The weather also helps to show the impact because when the weather was cold and poor, before the new poor law, 250 labourers were unemployed and receiving relief. But after it, there were only 28 able-bodied men out of employment, meaning the new poor law has worked and made people find employment. This source is reliable because the statistics could easily be checked up on and proven. ...read more.

Middle

But the board of guardians examined this and said that the statement was false. So this shows us that people accuse the workhouse of things that aren't true. This might not be reliable because the workhouse could have made it sound like they weren't doing any thing wrong. Source F tells us that some rules from the new poor law haven't worked so new ones have had to be added in, three of them being about punishments. For example, 'common hay and rope mattresses be provided as beds for refractory wards,' Source G tells us that the diet in the workhouse was poor and that paupers weren't given very much to eat. They were eating off things like 'oatmeal and split peas'. Source E is quite reliable because it is written in 1840 and by the board of guardians which means it will be quite accurate, although they could change things so that other people hear what they want to hear. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that the board of guardians are again caring. We can trust all of this evidence, except source H and the Oliver Twist film, because they were all written by the Uckfield Board of Guardians at the same time, between 1835 and 1842. We can't trust source H because it is written in 1991 so it can't be very reliable because it could be written based on the film Oliver Twist which we can't say is reliable either because when it was made, nobody was actually from the workhouse back in 1935. To conclude, I think that the workhouse wasn't a 'life of horror' because some of the evidence to say that it was, was written in the 1990's and the film was made in the 20th century so it can't be completely trusted. However the evidence to say that it wasn't a life of horror is written between 1835 and 1842 so it is very reliable. Tom Ward 10K History Coursework Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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