• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe how poor relief was provided before the poor law amendment act in 1834.

Extracts from this document...


Describe how poor relief was provided before the poor law amendment act in 1834 Poor laws were already used during the Elizabethan time, as poverty was a problem then. These laws were supposed to deal with poverty and the poor by providing them with poor relief. The laws were passed in 1599 to 1601. They stated that poor relief was based on the parish, meaning that each parish had to look after their own poor. Poor relief was given by collecting money from the locals, which were the householders. The money was known as the poor rates. For this duty an overseer was appointed who would gather the money. This money allowed able-bodied men to work in a workhouse and pay them. Outdoor was also part of the system and this would involve giving money to the sick poor at home. Elderly people also were given the chance to get outdoor relief or the alternative was moving into an almshouse. Children became apprentices and were trained to do a trade. ...read more.


Among the key changes was the increase in population. Due to its increase there was a greater demand for employment, but there weren't enough jobs available and so many poor were left unemployed. Enclosure, part of the agricultural revolution caused many labourers to be poor, as unlike before they couldn't use the commons on which many relied so much, as the commons provided the people with the necessary things, such food a grazing place for their animals and wood. Those who did have a job received low wages, but often it wasn't enough to get by. Women were unable to work as they had to look after their children and the jobs they used to do and earned them money were now taken over by industry. In many factories workers were only there when they were needed but sent away when there was no work. This would leave workers unemployed for a long time and as a result of that they would get into debt. ...read more.


However these systems didn't seem to improve the situations, because more poor entered the workhouses so many they became full and as there were a lot of people working it became more expensive to pay them and also to provide for them, such as food. The original intention of the workhouse being the last option was now changing as people went into workhouses whenever they needed to and would leave and enter at anytime. The outdoor relief system was also becoming expensive, as the rate would increase continually as more people didn't work. Many believed that the Speenhamland system encouraged families to expand their size because more children meant that they would receive more money. Many believed that it also encouraged illegitimacy. This affected the overall population in a way that it grew too fast. It also encouraged low wages and laziness because workers would not feel the need to work as they were given enough and if not enough money anyway. For these reason a commission of enquiry was carried out in 1832 to find out about how the poor laws were working. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE ICT Systems and Application section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE ICT Systems and Application essays

  1. How important was the aim of reducing the burden on the ratepayers in the ...

    The Gilberts act was a second modification of the Poor Law and was a response to the rising cost of the Poor Law which the ratepayers criticised and an inefficient workhouse management which lead to increased social pressure. A workhouse test act was bought in, which meant anyone who applied for relief had to enter a workhouse.

  2. Poverty and pauperism before 1834.

    The Speenhamland System stopped people starving it also helped stop people complaining about the high prices and low wages for workers this in the end stopped rioting. It also made ratepayers notice the amount of poor and the problem of poverty.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work