THE POOR LAW

THE POOR LAW

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  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 14-06-11 13:15

HOW IT WORKED

  • Poor rate paid by property owners in Parish.
  • Overseer (unpaid) collected poor rate and gave to needy.
  • Flexible- Different parishes had different systems:
  • Roundsman system (5% of parishes) ticket to employer. Paid what would have got poor rate- wages low no incentive to work.
  • Speenhamland system sliding scale-based on price of bread.- Expensive
  • Workhouse- very few.

WHY PROBLEMS BY 1815

  • Increased numbers claiming poor relief. Why? High food prices, changes- Farming, trade depression.
  • Some felt 'outdoor relief' abused by some poor.
  • Costs rose 4 null- 7 null, 1803-1832.
  • Some overseers imcompetent.
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ROYAL COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS

VIEWS OF COMMISSION

  • Cost of relief rising. 
  • Local admin- inefficient/corrupt.
  • Main problem-outdoor relief.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • End outdoor relief for able bodied poor.
  • Establish one system of poor relief run by a central board.
  • Make parishes join together- build and run workhouses.
  • Give poor relief only to those in a workhouse.
  • Make workhouses- worst option.
  • Seperate men, women and children in the workhouse.
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THE POOR LAW 1834- WHAT IT DID

2 MAIN PRINCIPLES.

  • Uniformity
  • Less Eligibility

WHAT IT DID.

  • Central poor law commission
  • Edwin Chadwick- secrerary to the commissiom
  • Grouped parishes- UNIONS. By 1838-573 unions
  • Each union-elect Board of Guardians who run the Poor Law.
  • Workhouse-centrepiece of new system.
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THE WORKHOUSE

  • Families split
  • Strict discipline
  • Diet-plain and sparse
  • Intention- unpleasant
  • Quality of people running workhouses varied
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HOW SUCCESSFUL?

SOUTHERN ENGLAND- SUCCESS BECAUSE.

  • Good harvest.
  • Low unemployment.
  • People who paid poor rate- happy therefore less.
  • Poor- fewer therefore good economic conditions.

NORTHAN ENGLNAD- NOT SO SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE.

  • Fluid employment, many out of work-short periods therefore outdoor relief better.
  • Poor-powerful-as industrial therefore closer together, therefore organised opposition.
  • Labelled WH- Bastille.
  • Many factory owners opposed.

WEAKNESS OF LAW.

  • Areas with fluctuation in employment- WH not good.
  • Commissioners- too much power.
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