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The New Poor Law Of 1834 Coursework Assignments - Study Source P; use the sources, and your knowledge, to explain whether the cartoonist (Source P) gives an accurate representation of the changes brought about by the Poor Law Act of 1834.

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Introduction

The New Poor Law Of 1834 Coursework Assignments Question 6 Study Source P; use the sources, and your knowledge, to explain whether the cartoonist (Source P) gives an accurate representation of the changes brought about by the Poor Law Act of 1834. Source P gives an exaggerated depiction, comparing the effect of the New Poor Law before and after 1834. The drawing that shows a workhouse room before 1834 is obviously incorrect. The man is displayed as opulent, which would certainly not be the case in a Workhouse. All people who would have entered would have been poor. The man is wearing wealthy clothes, with a tablecloth and an expensive table with fine cutlery and plates. This particular portrayal is inaccurate; the inmates would have in fact worn uniforms and would not have had a tablecloth or such fine cutlery. The conditions are very comfortable for the man in the supposed earlier drawing. In a real workhouse of this time the conditions would have been better than when the New Poor Law was introduced, but not as affluent as in the drawing. The picture on the right shows an eviscerated inmate with an obese master, to show a stark contrast between the two. ...read more.

Middle

It states ' a refractory pauper shall be punished by confinement to a separate room for 24 hours with alteration of diet', Source P shows in both pictures a punishment of solitary confinement, but only the 'after 1834' shows the restriction of diet. Source E does agree with Source P in a number of ways. The manacles on the walls in 'after 1834' in Source P are backed up in Source E by the comparison of the workhouses to 'those hellish Poor Law Bastilles'. A Bastille is a French prison which confirms the bars on the windows and the overall look of a prison in Source P. Source E tells of the segregation that is shown in Source P, 'wife torn from me' although this is a slightly exaggerated it shows what went on in the workhouses. Source E also states 'that before he shall eat a piece of bread he shall go into prison'; this can be directly linked to Source P. In it, it shows a man about to eat a piece of bread, and from Source E this tells us that this man has had to give up his freedom to do this. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Source agrees with Source P in areas such as the lack of food, the strict rules and regulations and that the master was usually a fat man and the inmates were very ill-nourished. Source O agrees and disagrees on some points with Source P. It agrees that there were savings to the ratepayers because the conditions within the workhouse had fallen so much. The sources disagree with each other on the fact that in Source O it states 'the condition of the aged and infirm poor has been improved'. Anyone who was in a workhouse would have experienced the depredation of the living conditions whether they were deserving or able-bodied poor. The other issue that disagrees slightly with Source P is that it states 'a beneficial change is gradually developing itself amongst all classes of paupers', this means that the New Poor Law is helping all people, which in Source P it is clearly not. I think that due to all the evidence, Source P does not give an accurate representation of the changes brought about by the New Poor Law. The cartoonist has exaggerated far too much in the depiction of both scenes. They can be undermined by primary, factual information which proves that Source P is an inaccurate piece of information. ...read more.

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