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Poverty and pauperism before 1834.

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ASSEMENT OBJECTIVE 1: POVERTY AND PAUPERISM BEFORE 1834 1.Describe how the Speenhamland System operated. The Speenhamland System was started in the early 18th century; the reason the Speenhamland System started was due to the rise in food prices in the 18th century. The increase was greater than the average wage; more and more paupers were claiming relief. The Speenhamland System was set up to help and stop the suffering of agricultural workers. The Government was scared that if they didn't stop the suffering soon the laborers would riot. The Speenhamland System was mainly used in the South and not used as much in the North due to the number of factories employing people with comparatively high wages. The idea was that wages would be increased to keep them at subsistence level so that workers could afford food. The Speenhamland System was different from parish to parish due to the bread increasing percentage but each parish kept the wage inline to the bread prices increasing and decreasing. But it also depended on how many people in your family, this meant if there was a man who didn't have a family he'd get less then as men with three children and a wife. The workers top up wage was given out by the parish's officers this was always kept inline to the subsistence level. 2. How did the Speenhamland System affect those who were in full-time employment? ...read more.


The rise in the cost of the old Poor Law was due to the Speenhamland system keeping up with the increase of the bread prices and due to the rise in population meaning the government had to deal with more paupers. The Old Poor Law was also very inefficient; Britain was changing and the Old Poor Law set up in 1601 was getting out dated. Parishes were too small and officers were not paid these were the main causes of inefficiency. There was an inconsistent price paid to the poor, this made people apply for it only when the price was better than usual work; the rounds man system was mainly being used instead. Many parishes did not have a workhouse. The allowances also did not encourage people to begin work again as soon as it came up. People were not working and living off these allowances. If they worked hard to earn more money, labourers would receive less. By the 1830's the low poor rate showed how inefficient the system was, as the industrial revolution was coming to an end people could see a huge rise in the unemployed. The ideas of strict work houses for paupers would not be able to deal with the mass of unemployed. Paupers started to set up anti-poor law committees to show their dissatisfaction to the government. Petitions were sent to Westminster and meetings were held for the anti-poor law groups. ...read more.


I would say each reason caused a big problem for the government and each in there own right brought about the Poor Law Act 1834. The rising cost of the poor relief was too high for inflation and was unfair for paupers in different parishes. This inflation rate of poor relief and the increase in population meant the government wouldn't be able to afford the poor relief for much longer forcing them to introduce the Poor Law Act 1834. The encouragement of large families wasn't a major issue many of these children died at a young age but still the other children were being used to get more money. The larger families mainly caused problems once they had left home due to the lack of interest in working most of these children went on the poor relief increasing the number of poor. The increase in families caused the cost to rise. The Poor Law Act 1834 was introduced by Edwin Chadwick and the Government Commissioners. I feel the reason that made the Poor Law Act 1834 be brought it was that the government could not afford the new increase in the number of poor but all the reasons that we looked at are linked with this. The increase in poor and decrease in jobs along with the inflation rate meant the country couldn't last long using the Speenhamland system and needed a change (The Poor Law Act of 1834). Owen Williams ...read more.

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