Development of the Poor Law

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  • How did the Poor Law develop?
    • 1847 - Turning Point
      • Initial problems dealt with
      • Opposition died down
      • Those seeking relief knew what to expect
      • Those paying, knew what they were paying for
      • Andover Scandal - Brought a new poor law system to Parliament's attention
    • Administrative Changes?
      • Provided a trigger for the abolition of the poor law commission
      • Poor Law board were made accountable
      • Could only lead inspections 1 or 2 times a year due to the large districts
      • Unofficial Variation
    • Local Government Takeover
      • Government became increasingly aware of the issue at hand
      • Gave more people the vote (Expanded the franchise)
      • Dependent on local authority for enforcement
      • Shift in attitude towards the poor and poverty
      • Growing belief that society had a duty of care
    • Did it cost less?
      • Union Changeability Act 1865
      • Placed financial burden on Union not the Parish
      • Cost of relief dropped from £7 million to £4 million due to the PLAA
    • Treatment of the poor
      • CHILDREN
        • Separated from adults
        • Education was key in preventing needing the workhouse
      • SICK AND MENTALLY ILL
        • illness of main breadwinner major cause of poverty
        • Sick paupers treat in hospital, not the workhouse
        • Separation between pauperism and illness
        • London 1882 - 6 Fever hospitals, 4 mental asylums and 20 infirmaries
        • 1900 - The poor law was providing state-funded medical care for the poor

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