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Was the Poor Law of 1834 Effective Essay

Agree with the three main doctrines. Malthus’s principle Ricardo’s “iron law of wages” and Bentham’s doctrine The Act has been described as “the classic example of the fundamental Whig-Benthamite reforming legislation of the period”, based on three main doctrines: Malthus’s principle that population increased faster than resources unless checked, Ricardo’s “iron law of wages” and Bentham’s doctrine that people did what was pleasant, and would tend to claim relief rather than working. http://wapedia. obi/en/Poor_Law_Amendmen… Population increased faster than resources unless checked people do what is pleasant, and would tend to claim relief rather than working . The history of the Poor Law in England and Wales is usually divided between two statutes, the Old Poor Law passed during the reign of Elizabeth I and the New Poor Law, passed in 1834, which significantly modified the existing system of poor relief. The Poor Law system was not formally abolished until the 1948 National Assistance Act, with parts of the law remaining on the statute book until 1967.

The Poor Law system fell into decline at the beginning of the 20th century due to several factors, such as introduction of the Liberal welfare reforms and the availability of other sources of assistance from friendly societies and trade unions, as well as piecemeal reforms which bypassed the Poor Law system . Despite these later edicts it is notable that the Poor Law Amendment Act did not ban all forms of outdoor relief.

When the new Amendment was applied to the industrial North of England (an area the law had never considered during reviews), the system failed catastrophically as many found themselves temporarily unemployed, due to recessions or a fall in stock demands, so called ‘cyclical unemployment’ and were reluctant to enter a Workhouse, despite it being the only method of gaining aid. The abuses and shortcomings of the system are documented in the novels of Charles Dickens and Frances Trollope. Despite the aspirations of the reformers, the New Poor Law was unable to make the Workhouse as bad as life outside.

The primary problem was that in order to make the diet of the Workhouse inmates “less eligible” than what they could expect outside, it would be necessary to starve the inmates beyond an acceptable level. It was for this reason that other ways were found to deter entrance to the Workhouses. These measures ranged from the introduction of prison style uniforms to the segregation of ‘inmates’ into yards – there were normally male, female, boy and girls yards. The Act stated that no able-bodied person was to receive money or other help from the Poor Law authorities except in a workhouse.

Conditions were to be made harsh to discourage people from claiming. Workhouses were to be built in every parish and if parishes were to small parishes to group together to form Workhouse Unions. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/English_Poo… The Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 sometimes abbreviated to PLAA was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed by the Whig government of Lord Melbourne that reformed the country’s poverty relief system. It was an Amendment Act that completely replaced earlier legislation based on the Poor Law of 1601. With reference to this earlier Act the 1834 Act is also known as the New Poor Law.

The Amendment Act was called for after an investigation by the 1832 Royal Commission into the Operation of the Poor Laws which included Edwin Chadwick, George Nicholls, John Bird Sumner and Nassau William Senior. The Act has been described as “the classic example of the fundamental Whig-Benthamite reforming legislation of the period”, based on three main doctrines: Malthus’s principle that population increased faster than resources unless checked, Ricardo’s “iron law of wages” and Bentham’s doctrine that people did what was pleasant, and would tend to claim relief rather than working.


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