Poverty and Public Health

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What is an 'overseer of the poor'?
appointed by parish annually, changed with 1834 new poor law where boards of guardians took this role
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Who are the deserving poor?
poor through no fault of there own, worthy of help and support
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Who are the undeserving poor?
poor through their own actions and failures, such as drunks
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When was the Old Poor Law implemented?
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What was the old poor law known as?
the 43rd Elizabethan
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What is the Poor Rate?
a tax on property dependant upon parish, used to provide poor relief
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What are the disadvantages of Poor Relief?
dependant upon the amount of poor people in a parish - unfair, some parishes treated their poor better, local issues could affect the relief, under old poor law you had to be in place of birth to receive relief
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What is the Settlement Law of 1662?
clarified how poor relief should be distributed; settlers could be removed from a parish if they weren't working and likely to claim poor relief. Legal settlement was determined by marriage, birth place, apprenticeships or inheritance
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When were the Settlement Laws tightened?
1697 - strangers stopped from entering parish without settlement certificate
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What was the Gilberts Act?
1782 - allowed small groups of parishes to join together to share the cost of poor houses between rate payers
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How many parishes had come together by 1834?
Over 900
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What is the Speenhamland system?
1795 - relationship between bread and amount of family members, substituted low wages, never/rarely used in the North
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What is a Labour Rate?
where a wage is set for each unemployed labourer - set a parish rate to cover relief
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What is the Roundsman System?
able bodied paupers sent round the parish until a ratepayer employes them. The ratepayer pays a wage agreed upon by the parish and the overseer then makes up the amount to match the poor rate.
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What are some of the problems with the Old Poor Law?
-not a universal system - didn't provide constant relief - some parishes provided inadequate care
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When did the Swing Riots occur?
1830 - rural poor began rioting because of wage reductions and being replaced by machines. made up a fake leader - Captain Swing - gave impression of organised revolt & authorities believed there was a leader
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Who won the 1831 elections?
The Whigs - knew they had to deal with the control of poor relief
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What did the Whigs set up?
The Royal Commission of Enquiry into the Operation of the Poor Laws
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What was the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the Operation of the Poor Laws?
consisted of 9 commissioners (including Edwin Chadwick), sent questionnaires to parishes - barely anyone replied as it wasn't compulsory - visited 3000 parishes and published findings in 1834
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What did the results show?
gave the impression that the poor law caused poverty
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What were the recommendations?
designed to save money and become for efficient - separate workhouses for different areas of life, parishes should go into unions for funding, outdoor relief should stop, the principle of less eligibility should be in place
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What is the poor law commission?
in charge of implementing the New Poor Law - Edwin Chadwick wanted to be a commissioner but was made secretary, Thomas Lewis, George Nicholls and John Lefevre
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What were the problems with the poor law commission?
had no real power, couldn't make parishes implement act, however could make things difficult for the parishes that opposed it
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Were the unions successful?
many of the parishes already had unions under the Gilberts Act 1782 and parishes refused to change unions, they also had no power to implement workhouses in the unions. however by 1840 14,000 parishes had formed unions
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When was the Poor Law Commission abolished?
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What was the poor law commission replaced by?
The poor law board - had a member of the government involved meaning they had more power
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When were the General Prohibitory Orders passed? (weren't necessarily implemented)
1838 - meant that lancaster and Yorkshire could continue outdoor relief. 1842 - forbid outdoor relief. 1844 - applied to ALL unions and forbade outdoor relief to able bodied poor
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Why did outdoor relief remain in so many places?
cheaper way of providing for the poor in places where cyclical unemployment is high, ratepayers often had paternal feelings over the paupers in their parish
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What are the settlement laws?
1840 - 40,000 paupers removed from parishes where they were claiming relief to their parish of settlement by birth or marriage
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When did the protests occur in the south?
1835 - protested when the new poor law was attempted to be implemented - attacked new workhouses, ratepayers still paid outdoor relief etc.
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Why did the new poor law policies not work so well in the North?
cyclical unemployment was massive - workhouses were more expensive means of relief, they didn't like London (south) telling them what to do, armed riots occurred
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Who is John Fielden?
he closed his factories in the North when the new poor law came into place, refused to pay new poor law rate and beacuse of this the new poor law wasn't implemented in Todmorden until 1877
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What are some of the weaknesses of the new poor law?
not implemented evenly - different boards of guardians interpreted it in different ways, resistance to the act, however by 1860 most parishes had complied with the act
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What is the workhouse test?
those who were seeking relief had to apply to their union workhouse
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What were the diets like in the workhouses?
poor law commissioners gave them 6 diets to chose from, not allowed to talk whilst eating (until 1842) often adulterated food - no cutlery allowed in the 1830's
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What did guardians have the power to do from 1871?
limit the amount of times a pauper could leave the workhouse in a week
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What is the Elementary Education (fosters act)?
1870 - local elementary schools set up, funded by local rates
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What/when was the Andover Scandal?
1845-46 : Henry Parker was ordered by the poor law commission to investigate the workhouse, starving people and ****, Parker was sacked but supported by chadwick who wanted any opportunity to undermine the commission
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When did the Parliamentary Reform Act occur and what was it?
1867 - increased number of voters to over 2 million - only the 'respectable' working class males
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What is the Local Government Board?
it replaced the Poor Law Board in 1871 because local authorities needed to in charge, had parliamentary power
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When did the Union Chargeability Act come into place and what is it?
1865 - placed financial burden of paupers onto the union as a whole, rather than each individual parish, was not dependant upon the amount of paupers in your parish
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What is the Outdoor Labour Test Order?
supposed to be in place to test those who are claiming outdor relief by making them do monotonous and unpleasant work
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When was the American Crop Famine?
1863 - caused short term unemployment - people had to claim outdoor relief
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What was the Public Works Act?
authorities could borrow money to set up work schemes and provide outdoor relief (parliament had to breach there own law and allow outdoor relief)
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When did Typhus Epidemics occur?
1837, 1839 and 1847
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When did Cholera epidemics occur?
1831-2, 1848-9, 1853-4, 1866 (40-60% of people that caught the disease died)
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What is the Miasma Theory of Disease?
poisonus vapor characterised by a bad smell caused by decaying matter that caused disease - Chadwick said smell is disease
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What was the Germ Theory of Disease?
did the decaying matter create the micro-organisms, or were the micro-organisms in the air attracted to the decaying materials
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When did Louis Pasteur discover that germs existed in the air?
1860 and published it in 1861 - not many believed him as they were slow to let go of the miasma theatre
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When did the riots in Liverpool and Exeter occur, and why?
1832 - against medical men as they thought they were spreading Cholera to get bodies for dissection, didn't want dead cholera victims to be buried in their graveyards - arose because of fear
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What is the Contagionist Theory?
the belief that cholera was spread by cholera victims
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What was Edwin Chadwicks belief?
disease causes pauperism - prevention of disease = prevention of pauperism
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Who was selected to compile the government report on public health?
1839 - Neil Arnott, James Kay, Southwood Smith and Chadwick
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When was Chadwicks 'Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain' published?
1842 - linked environment and disease
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What did Chadwick recommend in his report?
central governments should be given extensive powers to inspect local sanitary work, local sanitary districts should be set up and given powers
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Who is Bazalgette?
appointed chief engineer in 1856 - came up with sewerage plans
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When did the big stink happen?
1858 - because of this Bazalgette was allowed to go ahead with sewer plans, sewerage was opened in 1865
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Who was Dr James Kay?
1832 outbreak of Cholera, Kay was secretary for Manchester's board of health - first detailed reports on the conditions of working classes, one of the first people to show link between dirt and disease
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When was the board of health set up?
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What did the Board of Health do?
advised local governments to set up their own boards of health with district inspectors - houses were advised to be white washed, quarantine of people with cholera, temporary hospitals to be set up
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When did the boards of health get legal authority?
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Who was John Snow?
convinced that the 1853-4 cholera outbreak was linked with the water supply, plotted the deaths around a water pump
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Who is John Simon?
1848 appointed medical officer of London, medical officer to health in 1855, he conducted a large study and realised that water companies were dealing with dirty water - published ideas in 1856 but didn't breakthrough until 1870
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When was the Metropolitan Board of Works set up?
1855 - took over metropolitan buildings office, in charge of sewers etc.1865 appointed Bazalgette as chief engineer
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What is the Health of Towns Association?
1844 - public didn't seem to care about reports so Chadwick started a propaganda campaign to raise awareness
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What is the Municipal Corporations Act?
councillors were to be elected for 3 years and aldermen elected by council for 6 years, some cities used this act to establish their new position and take control of paving,sewage,street cleaning and draining, central government had no interest
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What was the liverpool sanitary act?
1846 - limited to liverpool, gave it a health authority and allowed it to appoint a medical officer of health - had power to make improvements
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What and when was the Acts for the Removal of Nuisances and Prevention of Epidemic Diseases?
1846 - designed to enable prosecutions of those responsible for 'nuisances' - filth, foul drains, cesspits
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What and when was the Baths and Wash Houses Act?
1846 - enabled local authorities to provide baths and wash houses out of public money
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What and when was the Towns Improvement Clauses Act?
1847 - defined the rights of towns to lay water supplies and drainage schemes and to control nuisances
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When was the Public Health Act put in place?
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What was the General Board of Health?
Edwin Chadwick was one of the three members - local authorities could set up local boards of health(where certain criteria was met)
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What were the strengths of the Public Health Act?
only applied where locals wanted it - little or no opposition as result, those who were wary could see its progress in other towns
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What were the weaknesses of the Public Health Act?
didn't apply to London, didn't apply to Scotland, only applied in certain areas
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How successful was the public health act?
effectiveness was varied, by the beginning of 1850, 192 towns had requested the new regulations and 32 had the act applied to them, in 3 years this had risen to 182, however in context figures are low
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What was the 1858 Local Government Act and the 1858 Public Health Act?
replaced the general boards of health
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When was the Sanitary Act passed and what was it?
1866 - sanitary powers given to individuals of local boards of health, local authorities made responsible for the removal of nuisances- John Simon was a key mover behind act
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When did births/deaths/marriages have to be registered from?
1837 - William Farr
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What was the 1875 Public Health Act?
every part of the country had to have public authority, had to have a medical officer and sanitary inspector to ensure law is in place
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When was the vaccine made free?
1840 Vaccination Act
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When was vaccination made compulsory?
1853 Vaccination Act - parents had to have babies vaccinated within 3 months of birth - after 1871 parents were fined if they did not vaccinate children
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When was the first Food and Drugs Act first put in place?
1860 - local authorities could order specific investigations into food if complaints were received
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When was the Adulteration of Food, Drink and Drugs Act put in place?
1872 - enabled local authorities to order an investigation of food even if no complaint was received
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When was the Sale of Food and Drugs Act put in place?
tried to define unadulterated food
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What is the Common Lodging Houses Act and when was it implemented?
1851 and 1853 - all lodging houses to be registered and inspected by police - rarely enforced
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What was the Nuisances Removal Act and when was it implemented?
1855 - allowed local authorities to combat overcrowding as a nuisance with fines and prosecution
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What was the Artisans and Labourers Dwelling Improvement Act and when was it implemented?
1875 - gave local councils the power to clear whole districts not just individual houses
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Who was Joseph Chamberlin?
rebuilt Birmingham and redeveloped sites
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Who was Titus Salt?
wealthy mill owner - moved his mill and built workers a purpose built village
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Card 2


Who are the deserving poor?


poor through no fault of there own, worthy of help and support

Card 3


Who are the undeserving poor?


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Card 4


When was the Old Poor Law implemented?


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Card 5


What was the old poor law known as?


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