Status of Poor in 18th, 19th and early 20th century Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Status of Poor in 18th, 19th and early 20th century Deck (34)
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Describe efforts to combat poverty pre-1906.

-Queen Elizabeth and 1601 Poor Law
-Quadruple of relief 1795-1815
-Introduction of workhouses 1723
-Centralisation of workhouses 1834
-Poor Law Amendment Act 1832


Describe harshness of relief in a workhouse.

-Referred to as 'Bastilles' by Chartists
-Introduction in 1723 and centralisation 1834
-50% women, 19% males (mostly old/ill men)
-By 1861, 35,000 children under 12 in workhouse
-Men and women separated
-Increasing size


Describe the growth of workhouses [stat].

By 1770s, there were 2,000 workhouses.
By 1776 there were 16,000 in the workhouse in London, 2% of total London population.
By 1861, 35,000 children under 12.
By 19th century can't cope with numbers.


Describe the distribution of wealth in England.

1.2 million / 4.7 million lived on over £700 a year.
Top 10% owned 93% of England's wealth.


What were the attitudes of Queen Victoria to poverty?

Generally favoured legislation directed toward the poor, e.g. Royal Commission on Housing and several charities.
However, did not take firm stance.


When was Queen Victoria's rule?

1837 - Jan 1901.


What were the attitudes of King Edward VII to poverty?

Disappointed when the Liberals came to power, and refused to add more Liberals to the House of Lords in 1909 to pass the People's Budget. Instead insisted that the issue should be put to the electorate.


When was King Edward VII's Rule?

1902 - May 1910.


Give one fact that demonstrates the attitude of employers to the unemployed.

Employers often referred to the unemployed as 'the great unwashed' or 'the hands'.


Describe and explain the attitudes of the general public to poverty.

LAISSEZ-FAIRE: Cecil Frances Alexander's hymn is demonstrative of this: 'The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate. God made them, high and lowly, and order'd their estate.'
Generally attitude that poor were poor was held due to ignorance until social reformers in 1890s.
Francis Place wrote that the enjoyments of the poor at that time were limited to '...sexual intercourse and drinking.'


What was the 1905 Royal Commission?

The Royal Commission was set up in 1905 to investigate the 1832 Poor Law. The Minority Report was headed by Beatrice Webb and the Fabian Society, and believed that:
1. the poor were poor as a result of trade cycles and old age.
2. more should be done for the poor
The Majority Report believed that poverty was a result of morality and the 1832 Poor Law was sufficient.


Give points for attitudes to the poor.

1. unequal distribution of wealth
2. attitudes of queen Victoria
3. attitudes of Edward VII
4. attitudes of employers
5. attitudes of the general public
6. the Conservative attitude and the 1905 Royal Commission
7. Malthusianism, utilitarianism and the iron law of wages
8. lack of political priority


Describe ideological attitudes to poverty.

-Malthusianism: Thomas Malthus published the influential 'An Essay on the Principle of Population' in 1798. Argued that population growth if unchecked would outstrip food supplies. Thomas Malthus argued that methods to help poor counter-productive because would allow poor to have more children and increase the population further.

-Utilitarianism: developed by Jeremy Bentham. Interpreted to support Gladstonian Liberalism.

-Iron Law of Wages: developed by David Ricardo. Believed that if wages were raised for minority of workers would undermine wages of others.


Describe the lack of political priority on poverty.

An analysis of speeches given by Liberal MPs pre-1906 reveals:
1. 100% contained attacks on the opposition
2. 98% argued for keeping free trade
3. 69% argued for reform of the poor law


How was poverty worsening?

-Jewish and Irish immigration
-Birth rate boom
-Urbanisation and industrialisation
-...Leading to an urban population boom


Describe immigration to England at that period.

-In the 1890s there were large numbers of Jewish immigrants to London. This followed pogroms in Russia following the assassination of Alexander II in 1881. There was another pogrom from 1903-1906.
-2 million Irish emigrated 1845-1855 following the Great Famine.


Describe the population boom.

In 1800 the population was 9 million. In 1900 the population was 30 million.
This had a large impact following Thomas Malthus publishing his 'Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798. This prompted the first ever British census in 1801.


Describe the effects of the population boom.

1. Increases competition for jobs.
2. Drives down wages.
3. Less food is available.


Explain the effects of the agricultural revolution.

Urbanisation, because men were replaced by machines and subsequently faced rural poverty.


Give a statistic to indicate the growth of an urban population.

By 1851, more than half of Britons lived in towns.


How was employment a problem for many Britons at the time?

-Age and Unemployment
-Seasonal employment
-Child labour


How were working conditions problematic at the time?

-Long working hours
-Conditions and the Christian Anglican Social Union
-Underrepresentation of Workers


Give a statistic to indicate the correlation between age and unemployment.

In September 1903, 18% of those aged 65 and upwards were paupers.


Give a fact to indicate the prevalence of seasonal employment.

Dock workers only had 3 days of work per week.


Give statistics to indicate the prevalence of child labour.

In 1821, 49% of the workforce was under 20.
These children often worked as chimney sweeps or paper boys and were uneducated and died early.
By 1861, around 35,000 children under 12 worked in workhouses of Britain.


Give a statistic to indicate the rise in working hours.

2800 yearly working hours in 1550.
3100 yearly working hours in 1850.


What was the significance of the Christian Anglican Social Union?

In 1890 Christian Social Anglican Union attempted to compile a whitelist of employers who treated workers well, so that Christians could buy their products with a clear confidence.
Failed because so few employers passed the test.


Describe working conditions of the time.

-Many immigrants worked in the sweated trades (making household goods such as matches), of which conditions were the worst.
-Poor conditions came about mainly due to lack of regulation.
-Could lead to work-related conditions such as 'phossy jaw', an incurable necrosis caused by exposure to phosphorous.


Explain why wages were poor.

-Scarce and irregular
-High urban population : immigration, pop. boom, agricultural revolution


Describe how workers were under-represented.

-1793 Combination Act (repealed 1824)
-Taff Vale Judgement 1801
-Hostile reaction to trade unionists e.g. Tolpuddle in 1834, 6 labourers transported to Australia for 7 years for opposing a reduction in wages
-ILP formed only in 1893, Labour Representative Committee formed only in 1900
-Only had mixed Liberal Party


What should you mention when describing the living conditions of the poor?



What was the housing of the poor like?

-30 or more people in same room (rookeries)
-caused by people renting out spaces in room in order to pay own rent
-by-laws 1840s to try and ban cellar-dwellings
-failure of further laws to ban back-to-back dwellings due to banning of only 'new' ones


Describe the diseases that the poor faced.

-work-related conditions such as 'phossy jaw', an incurable necrosis caused by exposure to phosphorous
-epidemic of cholera and pulmonary tuberculosis
-ability to spread quickly in rookeries
-little knowledge about medicine - Buchan's Domestic Medicine book listed (as causes of disease): 'bad air' and 'violent emotion'


Give 4 statistics to indicate the prevalence of disease among the poor.

1. The death rate in 1900 was 163/1000/year.
2. At Mayfair the life expectancy was 55, in the East End it was 30.
3. Rickets was prevalent in 30/50 poor children and 10/50 rich children.
4. Rich children were 6 inches taller than poor.