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Was The New Poor Law A Success Or A Failure?

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Introduction

Was The New Poor Law A Success Or A Failure? This question is asking me whether the New Poor Law Amendment Act, which was introduced in 1834, was more successful than then the Old Poor Law. The reason the New Poor Law was introduced was because too many able-bodied poor were claiming benefits without actually working and trying to gain money themselves through manual labour. They felt that if they were going to be given money anyway to top-up their wages, then why didn't they just claim the full amount from Benefits? Therefore, a new system was needed to ensure that the able-bodied poor would work for their money, and if they didn't they would have to work in very poor conditions in the workhouses. Successes of the New Poor Law There were many advantages of the New Poor Law, including a decrease in cost of poor relief, Education for children who lived within poor families and more able-bodied poor people working for their money. ...read more.

Middle

The moral of the poor became much better as well. People were swiftly becoming good workers and were more willing to behave better. This meant they wouldn't spend the night drinking in taverns, blowing their cash which was desperately needed for food (especially when the corn prices rose). For people who did have to enter the workhouses, there were still some advantages. They would be treated if they were ill, and the children would learn literature and maths. They were also taught a trade (i.e. Carpentry, stonemasonry etc). Failures of the New Poor Law There were, however, many failures when it came to the new poor law. These included rioting, opposition from the poor, and inefficiency of commissioners. There was opposition in the North towards the New Poor Law Amendment Act. They felt that it was easier to give outdoor relief for short periods of time (i.e. when there was an economic slump). ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, it was believed that the Master within the Andover workhouse would drink heavily and abuse the female inmates. The commissioners were blamed for starving the poor, reducing wages and robbing the rate payers by not using their money to give to the hard-working inmates at some of the workhouses. This led some people to nickname the new act the "Starvation Law". The Masters and Matrons were also very strict, making people work way too hard than they should have done, and saving money on food to spend on their families. Therefore, the New Poor Law act did have many advantages, like causing the poor to buck their ideas up and begin working. However, the people who ran the workhouses were way too strict towards the inmates, which was a major disadvantage. Therefore, I feel that the New Poor Law was a success, as it taught people that working is a very important part of life, and has made our country what it is today. ...read more.

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