Poverty is not seen as a social problem: poverty is seen as the result of weakness of character. This attitude led to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. It was believed that those who desperately needed it would accept the working house. However, the alleged demoralizing effects of the old poor law were not as severe as they were described. After 1834, bad law policies were aimed at transferring unemployed farm workers to urban areas where there was work and protecting city taxpayers from excessive wages. The fierce hostility and organized opposition of workers, politicians and religious leaders eventually led to the amendment of the amending law, lifting to some extent the harsh measures of the workhouses. The Andover Workhouse scandal, which revealed that working conditions at the Andover Union Workhouse were inhumane and dangerous, led to an investigation by a special committee of the House of Commons, whose report commented sharply on the dysfunction of the Poor Law Commission. As a result, government legislation replaced the Poor Law Commission with a Poverty Legislation Commission under much stricter parliamentary oversight and control by the State. Before 1834, the cost of caring for the poor was rising every year. These costs were paid by the middle and upper classes of each city through their local taxes. There was a real suspicion among the middle and upper classes that they were paying the poor to be lazy and avoid working. The lesson can also serve as a starting point for examining the new Poor Act in more depth and discussing attitudes towards the poor in 19th century Britain.
The government`s intention was to make the experience of being in a working home worse than the experience of the poorest workers outside the working home. This policy should be known as the “less eligibility” principle. Scotland introduced its own system of poor people`s rights in 1579. Since the Act of Union, which united England and Scotland, did not change the Scottish legal system, this poor system of rights did not disappear after 1707. Reforms similar to the English reforms of 1834 were carried out in 1845. The 13-volume report highlighted the conclusion that the Poor Law itself was the cause of poverty. The report distinguished between poverty, which was seen as necessary because it was the fear of poverty that made people work, and need – the inability to earn enough to live. The abandoned child seemed too small and poor for death to take him seriously, but death had taken him; And already his tiny shape was carefully washed, composed and stretched on a box as in his sleep. I thought I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Thou shalt be well, O nurse of the service of itching, if a poor, less gentle man does these services in thy cold form, that how the fallen child are the angels who see the face of my Father! whereas, from the passage of this Act, the administration of relief to the poor throughout England and Wales shall be under the direction and control of the said Commissioners in accordance with the laws in force or the laws now in force; and for the execution of the powers conferred upon them by this Act, the said commissioners are hereby authorized and bound to issue and issue from time to time, as they may have opportunity, all such rules, ordinances, and regulations for the administration of the poor, for the government of workhouses, and for the education of the children therein, . and for the education of the children of the poor, and for the guidance and supervision of all guardians, sacristies and municipal officials insofar as they relate to the administration or assistance of the poor and to the management, audit, auditing and approval of accounts, as well as the conclusion and conclusion of contracts in all matters relating to such administration or assistance, or expenditures for the assistance of the poor and for the enforcement of this Act in any other respect they consider appropriate; and the said commissioners may, in their sole discretion, suspend, modify or repeal from time to time such rules, orders and regulations or any of them: provided, always, that nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting such commissioners or any of them to intervene in any particular case to order removal. : Article 15 Joseph Rayner Stephens also participated in the campaign against the Poor Law of 1834.
He organised boycotts against shopkeepers who did not support the reform movement, and in Huddersfield in 1838 played a leading role in encouraging people to disrupt meetings of the local Poor Law Guardians. As a result of this campaign, Stephens was arrested for making seditious and inflammatory speeches, and in August 1839 he was convicted and imprisoned. I doubt there is a better case for the urgency of women`s suffrage than that expressed in this report by the last English Commission on the Rights of the Poor. What it reveals is legalized incompetence and cruelty in the treatment of the poor. whereas thousands of innocent children are imprisoned with vagrants and prostitutes; that there are workshops which, despite the devastation caused by measles, whooping cough, etc., do not have their own infirmary for children. Under the new Poor Law, parishes were merged into unions, and each union was required to build a workhouse if it did not already have one. Except in special circumstances, the poor could only get help if they were willing to leave their homes and go to a working house. Shortly after the introduction of the new Poor Law, a series of scandals made headlines. The most famous was Andover Workhouse, where it was reported that half-starved inmates were found eating the rotten flesh of bones. In response to these scandals, the government introduced stricter rules for those who ran the workhouses, and it also established a system of regular inspections.