Poverty in the 20th Century
- Gave money, clothes, food and shelter.
- 700-800 in London 1905.
- Children live by begging and stealing, die from starvation and disease.
- Dr. Barnados children's homes help children suffering in poverty.
- Belief = people responsible for their own poverty.
- 'Poor Law' offered help, but seen as giving up and was disliked.
- People save wages, and dread sickness, unemployment and retirement - elderly ok, but only if they have relatives too look after them.
- No hope of better times.
- Workhouse provides work and shelter, but dreaded.
- Those helped by the Poor Law seen as a 'pauper', shame and disgrace.
- Outdoor relief provided help outisde the workhouse, e.g. money.
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Public Attention (1)
- William and Catherine Booth
- Think poverty is beyond people's control.
- Christian groups preach, turn prostitutes and criminals from sin, give soup and bread. Salvation army = different, as went to the poor, members were like an army, wore a uniform and had brass bands.
- 1900 = own training centres, labour exchange, farms and a brickworks - jobs give people a sense of purpose.
- From family of wealthy shipowners, moved to London.
- Conducted survey - 25% in poverty in London - team of investigators look at living conditions, income and spending of 4,000 people.
- Causes = 85% due to unemployment and low wages - not their own fault.
- Made circles of poverty - centre = those
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Public Attention (2)
- York chocolate manufacturers and quakers.
- Influenced by Charles Booth.
- Survey showed that 28% in poverty in York.
- Primary poverty = not own fault, nothing they can do = 10%.
- Secondary poverty = can just about feed and clothe themselves, could fall into pirmary poverty at any time = 18%.
- Made primary poverty line = likely to fall into poverty during childhood, marriage with a young family, and in old age.
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A Political Issue (1)
- Come into power 1906. David Lloyd George and Churchill = 'New Liberals' - challenge ideas, know that poverty is not the fault of the poor, think state have a duty to provide security and freedom.
- End of 1800s = local authorities (often Liberal) provide clean water, sewers, lighting, clean streets - show what can be done locally and nationally.
- 1900s = want to close gap between rich and poor, and improve working and living conditions. Rivals of Liberal Party.
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A Political Issue (2)
- 1899, men rejected from army as unfit. 2/3 fail the medical.
- Germany and USA in a better position, and are far more efficient - Britain need reforms to compete, and improve their national efficiency.
Rowntree and Booth
- Their studies are read by many people.
- Their studies also influenced politicians.
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Liberal Reforms (1)
- Free school meals 1906 = paid from local rates, used by 158,000 by 1914.
- School Medical Inspections 1907 = free, compulsory, treatment had to be paid for until 1912.
- Children's At 1908 = makes children protected persons:
- Parents can be prosecuted for cruelty, authorities responsible for supervising.
- Children's homes were registered.
- Children under 14 not allowed in adult prisons, borstals set up for young offenders, juvenile courts set up.
- Under 14s not allowed in pubs, no cigarettes allowed to under 16s.
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Liberal Reforms (2)
Sick and Unemployed
- Labour Exchanges Act 1909 = people can look for jobs more efficiently.
- National Insurance Act I 1911 = prevents poverty by illness:
- Can draw money out if ill.
- Compulsory for maual and low paid jobs.
- Paid 4d for stamps on a card, government gave 2d, employers gave 3d.
- Sick pay = 10s a week, for 13 weeks, 5 s for an additional 13 weeks.
- Free medical treatment and maternity care.
- 10 mil men and 4 mil women covered.
- National Insurance Act II 1912 = prevents poverty from unemployment:
- Mainly men in seasonal unemployment e.g. shipbuilding, engineering.
- Workers pay 2d as do employers and government, for insurance stamps.
- Paid 7s 6d when unemployed, for a total of 15 weeks.
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Liberal Reforms (3)
- Pensions Act 1908 = weekly fund from the government.
- For over 70's.
- 5s a week for a single person.
- 7s6d (later increased to 10s) for a couple.
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How Effective Were the Reforms? (1)
- People no longer to blame for their own poverty.
- Reforms = a break with the past, Liberals attacked the causes of poverty, the poor can lead decent lives.
- 1935-6, Rowntree repeats survey of York. 6.8% now in primary poverty, compared to 15.5 in 1899.
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How Effective Were the Reforms? (2)
- David Lloyd George pays for taxes by taxing the rich:
- Liberal House of Commons vote for the pensions.
- House of Lords = rich Conservatives with a laissez-faire attitude, so vote against the pensions.
- Only passed when the King threatens to put more Liberals in the House of Lords
- Some historians think the reforms were just a economic move to improve Britain's workforce.
- Others think that the reforms were the beginning of the welfare state.
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How Effective Were the Reforms? (3)
Not All Were Helped
- Pensions = only 1/2 mil qualified as:
- Had to be 70+.
- Had to have had an income below £21 - more earned = lower pensions.
- Be British citizens - have live in Britain for 20 years.
- Not been in prison 10 years bfore the pension.
- Hadn't failed to work.
- National Insurance = only 10 mil men and 4 mil women qaulified as:
- Incomes less that £160 a year.
- Only seasonal employment.
- Only covered those who paid, not dependants.
- Run by local councils.
- The Poor Law = should have been reformed or abolished, but instead remained for another 20 years.
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