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British Society 1890-1918
It was generally believed that poor people chose to be poor and
that they could get out of poverty if they wanted to, but instead
they spent all their money on drink.
In 1800, the vote wasn't seen as a `human right'. Only the rich
could vote.
It was a `property qualification' to be able to vote. You had to
own a certain amount of land/wealth.…read more

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British Society 1880-1918
A large proportion of the population lived in poverty
and had to suffer hard working conditions.
As the century came to an end, conditions improved a
bit for some (compared to their ancestors).
Wages were higher, so more luxuries could be
Government officials and inspectors began to
improve working conditions ­ making factories safer
and wages higher.
Despite all this, a large section of society still lived in
poverty.…read more

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British Society 1890-1918
Dock workers ­ they waited at the docks every day to see if there was any
work available.
On average, they only got 3 days work.
Gas workers ­ they worked in horrible conditions, shoveling coal into
Coal backers ­ men who carried sacks of coal.
They could earn 15 ­ 20 shillings.
The work was hard and many had to retire at 40.
Sweated trades ­ sweat shop workers.
The workers made things like matchboxes, pins, chains and shovels.
The hours were very long and the wages were awful.
Tailoring ­ Another form of sweatshop work.
In 1980's, large numbers of Jews joined the tailoring factories and
competed with existing workers, lowering wages further.…read more

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The Social Reformers
Charles Booth
He was a successful business man who became
interested in social issues because his wife was friends
with a socialist.
He read pamphlets and attended lectures about poverty
and thought that they were exaggerated, but he found
that the reality was even worse.
He wrote 17 volumes of research on poverty in England.
He found that 30% of the population was under the
poverty line and only 1% were criminals.
He proved that the problems of the poor were the result
of; low wages, casual work, trade depression, old age and
illness.…read more

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The Social Reformers
Seebohm Rowntree
He found that the large population of the poor
living in poverty was caused by old age and
illness, not laziness.
In York, 27% of people were under the poverty
The poor suffered the ups and downs of the
trade cycle.
He published a book of statistics on town life.
He said that the government should protect the
young, old, ill and unemployed.…read more

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