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

'In late vicorian Britain despite many critical comments, Poverty was still regarded as the fault of the poor and deserving of punishment.'Discuss the appropriateness of this judgment by reference to the four extracts.

Extracts from this document...


'In late vicorian Britain despite many critical comments, Poverty was still regarded as the fault of the poor and deserving of punishment.' Discuss the appropriateness of this judgment by reference to the four extracts. Poverty in Victorian Britain remained a problem throughout the 19th century and the need to provide help and assistance to those that could not help themselves still remained essential at the end of this period. The provisions made through the 'poor law' gave the absolute minimum relief with basic accommodation, food and help in order to keep costs to a minimum and encourage self-help. This also had the effect of discouraging many decent self-respecting people from seeking assistance even when their circumstances were dire. Extracts A, B and C confirm that poverty was regarded as the fault of the poor, caused by their own laziness, weakness and lifestyle. In extract A, a cartoon published by Punch in 1883, the 'house-jobber', a well clothed and fed man who appears to be taking 50 per cent of the rent money as his wages, has arrived to collect the rent but the man does not have the money to pay. ...read more.


In contrast the attitude of George Lansbury in 1892 showed a completely different attitude. He sympathized with those that were unfortunate enough to find themselves in the workhouse and was aware that there were many people including those that were 'mentally deficient' and 'babies and children' had no control over their situation. He also acknowledged that decent people would endure any suffering rather than turn to the workhouse for help, and after his visit to a workhouse could understand why. Those people who found it absolutely necessary to go into a workhouse were met with hostility and appalling degradation. The poor, according to the way they were treated, clearly deserved to be punished for asking for help and this is evident in extract D, a recollection of a visit to a workhouse in Poplar in 1892, by George Lansbury a Labour politician. He described it as a 'prison or Bastille' and the people in this mixed workhouse were all considered 'a nuisance' and treated accordingly. When they arrived they were searched and stripped then put into a communal bath before being dressed in workhouse clothes that had been worn by many other people and without any underwear. ...read more.


The blind eye turned by the inspectors in 1868 is also different from the protest made by George Lansbury in 1892. He ensured that the disgusting food and attitude of the chief officer were brought to the attention of the doctor and master and for that day at least cocoa, bread and margarine were served. This would have also served as a warning because this visit was unannounced and was his 'first visit to a workhouse' implying that he visited others afterwards. The conditions in the workhouse had change little during the 19th Century but it was the attitude of those in Government who turned a blind eye to the suffering and those in direct control of this people who inflicted the pain that remained the biggest problem. Most people still considered poverty to be the fault of the poor themselves, an opinion that seemed to remain safely in tact throughout the century. Any self respecting decent person would ensure untold suffering outside just to remain free, as once they entered to workhouse they were subjected to conditions and rules that could quite easily have been described as a prison, and therefore I consider the statement to be correct. ...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 Charities, Poverty and Development 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 Charities, Poverty and Development essays

  1. How far were changing attitudes towards the poor between 1834 – 1900 due to ...

    This was again given more support and emphasis from the findings of social investigators who claimed that poverty was due to a breakdown of industries or the depression in trade. Because of this and the changes in world economics, the Government was more willing to act.

  2. Identify four causes of the increase in poverty and vagrancy in the Tudor period.

    Whilst cities and towns took a lead in local legislation to ease the problem provincial villages and hamlets had little law enforcement and ineffective legislation making the poor and vagrants a cause of concern. It has been written that local JP's were intimidated into letting convicted vagrants go free and

  1. Sociology of Poverty in Britain

    Whilst the rich become richer, the poor are becoming poorer. This supports the Marxist claim that the capitalist system is only beneficial to the bourgeoisie, if national income is expressed as a hypothetical pie, the richest deciles continue to take larger and larger slices and as such, those in poverty

  2. Why did poverty come to the public's attention at the turn of the century?

    And those who lived by crime. Charles Booth (1840-1916) Charles Booth lived in London in the Mid 1970s'. He refused to accept the official statistics that said that about 25 per cent of the working population was living in poverty. He decided to find out for himself and set up his own team of paid investigators.

  1. Rapid Population growth is the only explanation for poverty. Discuss

    Creditors don't care how it is spent as long as they get it back with interest. Some countries such as the UK make a large proportion of their annual income through interest on debts. The money that is lent may be spent badly, it may be wasted, it may line

  2. Explain Why despite Government Efforts, there is Still Inequality in Britain Today

    Also a person may not realise that they are entitled to benefits, and if they don't realise but they are still living day to day life out of poverty, then it is clear that this method of finding out who is in poverty may be inaccurate.

  1. Are the absolutely affluent morally obligated to help the absolutely poor? Consider how Rachels ...

    Singer believes that the idea of property rights leaves too much to chance. For instance, in the case of those who live in Kuwait versus those who live in Chad. Those who chose to live in Kuwait thousands of years ago had no idea that they would come upon innumerable wealth in the form of oil under their sand.

  2. "What a rare punishment / Is avarice to itself!" Volpone, Act 1, sc.iv. Do ...

    In order to gain yet more wealth in this way, Volpone pretends to be dying in order to obtain presents from his relatives, they like him are avaricious, birds of prey waiting to swoop on the corpse. (Peck and Coyle, 1995.

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