The Government, self-help, and charity, 1847-80.

  • Created by: 4BB13
  • Created on: 02-12-19 17:34

The Andover Workhouse Scandal

  •  1845-46
  • Problems included sexual abuse and starvation so that the paupers had to chew the meat off the bones they were meant to be crushing.
  • The Poor Law Commission sacked Colin M'Dougal and Parker and sent out an order forbidding bone crushing. 
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Poor Law Board

  • 1846-47
  • 1846 - 1,300,000 paupers in England and Wales. 
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Parliamentary Reform Act

  • 1867
  •  Increased the number of men allowed to vote. 
  • Specialised working class were allowed to vote.
  •  Doubled the electorate from 1 milliom to 2 million.
  • There was increased pressure from radicals to democratise the election of guradians of the poor.
  • In 1868, the Poor Law Board was empowered to combine small parishes for the purpose of electing guardians. 
  • The Government became more aware of the welfare of the people. 
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Local Government Board

  • 1871
  • Tried to reduce the number of paupers receiving relief by: 

1) Condemened outdoor relief on the basis that it took away from the poor away any desire to save for bad times. 

2) Took a harsh line when the able-bodied poor aksed for relief.

3) Guardians took part in emigration schemes. 

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Charity Organisation Society (COS)

  • Founded in 1869.
  • Aims: Co-operate with the Poor Law Authorities at local level, organise work of other charities, and ensure only the deserving poor received relief. 
  • The COS believed that charity should only be given to the deseving poor as it was a gift, not a right. 
  • The relief given by the COS aimed to put food on the table and get you back on your feet, but it was only temporary relief.
  •  Regional Differences - In Liverpool, releif was directly given to the poor, however in Manchester there was little effort to co-ordinate the work of charities.
  • Successes of the COS - Influence on official thinking, gave evidence to enquiries on social problems and their wokr led to future social work.
  • Criticisms of the COS - Sometimes failed to raise enough funds or get enough volunteers, their investigative methods were resented bby the poor and the COS was seen as having an overbearing attitude. 
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Friendly Societies

  • Friendly socieities were originally a group of friends joining together in a time of need to help themselves.
  • Benefits - companionship (give advice to each other), fulfilled self-help part of the Poor Law Amendment Act.
  • Failures - cost money to enter and a weekly donation was expected (about 6d a week), fined members who didn't pay. 
  • Manchester Unity of Oddfellows - 434,200 members. 
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Trade Unions

  • Workers were ready to negotiate for better working conditions and higher pay. 
  • E.G. Amalgamted Society of Engineers (ASE) was formed in 1851 and was an amalgamation of smaller unions. They offered pensions.
  • Other unions offered unemployment benefits. 
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Co-operative Societies

  • Self-help movement.
  • Members of a co-op were paid a dividend on every purchase they made. 
  • 7 years - 130 in North of England.
  • 1880 - Close to a million shareholders.
  • Benefits of being a member - Knowledge that the foodstuiffs weren't adulterated, the dividnets helped people to pay their rent and they gave many working-class families the ability to plan their finances. 
  • Co-ops wouldn't give credit. 
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The Role Of Mothers

  • The COS condmeneed some charities from giving free meals as this took over the job of the mother. 
  • Bootd and clothes were given to mothers and tickets for coal merchants. 
  • However, some mothers sold the boots and clothes at a pawnshop to get immediate cash. 
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Prevailing Orthodoxy

19th Century:

  • Poverty was necessary, and even desirable, if people were to strive a lot.
  • Indigence was the fault of the poor themselves.
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Samuel Smiles

  • Author and Political Reformer.
  • He went to Edinburgh University.
  • hee became a qualified doctor in 1832.
  • Leeds Times - He moved to Leeds to become a journalist and was an editor until 1845.
  • He gradually became against chartism.
  • Six points of chartism - e.g. annual elections, secret ballot and payment of MPs.
  •  He publihsed his book called 'Self-Help' in 1859.
  • He wrote biographises on men who had amazing achievements through hard work, e.g. George Stephenson.
  • Thrift (1875), Duty (1880) and Conduct which was never published. 
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Henry Mayhew

  • 1831-38 - he edited the comic 'Figaro in London'. 
  • 1841 - co-founded the satirical magazine called 'punch' with Mark Lennon. 6,000 copies were sold a week.
  • 1849 - he wrote an article for 'Morning Chronicle' which described the lives of the poor in London.
  • Three categories:

1) Those who will work - skilled artisans, craftsmen, skilled workers.

2) Those who can't work - Due to bad weather people like house painters and brick layers had jobs depending on the season. Failed cotton crop in USA meant that mill workers in England were laid off.

3) Those who will not work - Beggars and vagrants - mostly men and boys. 

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Charles Dickens

  • Dickens constantly emphasised that the poor had hopes and desires and that workhouses were cruel institutions.
  • He experienced poverty as a child when his father was sent to prison and at the age of twelve he worked in a polish factory. 
  • He wrote for 'Mirror Parliament', 'The True Star' and 'Morning Chronicle'. 
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