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

How far do these sources confirm the view that the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act was cruel in its implementation?

Extracts from this document...


Sam James 8097 Walton High School Mr Corrigan How far do these sources confirm the view that the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act was cruel in its implementation? Sources 1, 2 and 5 go furthest in confirming the view that the poor law amendment act was cruel in its implementation. Source 1 written by Frederick Engels, strongly supports this view by showing evidence of cruelty to children, in the second paragraph. It states how 'a boy of five years old was punished by being shut in a dead room, where he had to sleep upon the lids of the coffins.' This being a very demoralising punishment for a child. A further example is given by Engels where he talks of an investigation revealing a nurse treating 'sufferers' who 'were tied fast with cords passed over the covering and under the bedstead, to save the nurse the trouble of sitting up at night.' Again this shows extreme cruelty under the poor law. This can be backed up by my own knowledge that there were various scandals such as the Andover Workhouse Scandal 1845-6, which showed extreme cases of cruelty. ...read more.


The bread to be not less than 24 nor more than 48 hours old." This shows unnecessary cruelty as I would be possible for the bread to be eaten fresh. However contradicting this source 3 states 'Although the workhouse food be more ample in quantity and better quality than that of which the labourer's family partakes.' The evidence stated goes as far as to suggest the workhouse was poor and small in quantity, but not necessarily cruel as it was enough to survive. Source 2 also talks of oakum picking. Oakum picking was a common task in workhouses where workers would pick rope fibres from old tarred rope. This would lead to 'nails broken and fingers bleeding,' as stated on victorianengland.org. Nowadays this work could be seen as extremely brutal and cruel. However compared to some of the work and injuries obtained by the hard manual work that labourers did outside the workhouse, this type of work could be seen as mild in brutality. Maybe as source 6 suggest 'workhouses were depressing and life inside of them was monotonous.' ...read more.


Cruelty is also evident in the sources 2 and 4 where segregation is shown. It was not necessary for the workhouse to enforce segregation in order to function properly, so therefore could be seen as cruel as it is separating families. However this again I feel was to make the workhouse seem a less desirable place to work as intended, as if it were desirable more of the able bodied poor would opt to work in the workhouse than find their own work. This is also the case I feel in the type of work conducted such as oakum picking. There is evidence of unnecessary cruelty such as that which happened in the Andover workhouse and as highlighted in source 1. However these 'scandals' are few and far between and are more to do with cruelty committed by individuals, than that created by the poor law as a whole. So this can not be generalised. On the whole I feel the implementation of the cruel law was not intentionally cruel, however was enforced in such a way to encourage the able bodied poor to look for work themselves. Word Count: 1129 ...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 Law 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 Law essays

  1. Changes at Gressenhall workhouse 1800-1900

    Another reason was the rising cost of the poor law as the cost was 1.5 million pound in 1776 and the ratepayers did not care about the ideas of contemporary writers, as they didn't mind about helping poor people with just a little amount of their money.

  2. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    - He was so ill that he sliced his victim's throat believing it was bread Test 4 * Knowledge that the act was wrong in law R v Windle (1952) - Had problems of medical illness which led to him poisoning his wife to death with aspirin.

  1. Should Capital Punishment be enforced

    Some people believe that it is not just to terminate one's life before their death time as it will be considered "playing God". Such people often believe that human beings were sent onto Earth by God for a specific purpose and by killing them prematurely, we are going against God's wishes.

  2. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    But a cancellation made unintentionally or by mistake will not discharge any party. The proper and safe mode of cancellation is to draw a line through the name so as to leave it legible. In an accommodation bill, where it is drawn for the accommodation of the drawer the cancellation

  1. The Poor Law was a system established since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, ...

    This system was said to encourage laziness as the poor would have no incentive to work hard or to respect their employers as they knew that their parish would look after them. The allowance system was regarded by the ruling class as an 'unmitigated evil'.

  2. Recognition of States and

    In a word, some attention to group needs must be embedded in justice systems else, as Hobbs put it, a war of each against all subverts and degrades the human project Lassa Openheim offers a classic formulation of constitutive theory: "A state is, and becomes an International Person through recognition only and exclusively."

  1. The aims and principles of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act.

    our object is to establish therein a discipline so severe and repulsive as to make them a terror to the poor". (Thompson, 1963, p. 295). Although in previous years the able bodied would wander from parish to parish to gain more relief for themselves, the taxpayers wanted this to stop.

  2. What were the principles underlying the Poor Law Amendment Act and how far did ...

    The problem that these "undeserving poor" created was the amount of aid that could be given to them. If they were helped too much, they would see no reason to work. The poor who were working and earning their own living would also see no reason to work and may be attracted into an immoral and jobless life.

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