Changing Attitudes For much of the nineteenth century, most people believed that people were poor because they wasted their money. By 1900, public opinion was changing. People realised that poverty could be caused by many factors. They also felt that the government should give some help to the poor instead of leaving it all to charity. Social Reformers This attitude change was partly down to the work of social reformers.
Women were another vulnerable group because they were always paid at a lower rate than men. There was no safety net for people who fell into poverty other than resorting to the ‘workhouse’ which had been established to deal with cases of extreme poverty in Trade unions had little power as the Taff Vale Incident of 1901 showed and Friendly Societies could only provide a limited amount of help. Attitudes to poverty in the early 20th century were quite unsympathetic many politicians from both the Liberal and Conservative party felt that poverty came from personal laziness. Both parties had an attitude of “laissez-faire” i.e. non interference from the government.
The law brought positive changes to the country encouraging more people to seek employment, “working people developed their own self-help movement”. Walsh M, et al, 2000. But also created some negative changes, working conditions were extremely harsh and families were split up. The amendment act was disliked by the poor population of the country because of the leissez-faire system the government had in place, the government’s approach on leissez-faire was to intervene as little as possible with the direction of economic affairs. This had an impact on the poor, it caused stigma and the poor had a mark of disgrace on their reputation.
The New Deal plan was a form to deliver relief to the unemployed and those in danger of losing farms and homes, it was also set out to recover agriculture and businesses, and reform. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his acceptance speech he told the crowd that he pledge to a new deal for the American people, this was where the term New Deal came about. The New Deal had two phases to it. The First Phase, which was in 1933-34, attempted to provide recovery and relief from the Great Depression by programs of agricultural and business regulation, inflation, price stabilization, and public works. The second phase of the New Deal, which was during 1935-41, during the time america was continuing with relief and recovery measures, provided for social and economic legislation which helped benefit the mass of working people.
In some parishes this was collected by the churches in others they had specific collectors. The rich and middle classes felt that they were subsidising the poor to be lazy and not take responsibility for themselves and that the poor were just avoiding work and not supporting their own families. They also felt that if the hand outs continued they would never use their own initiative to fund and support themselves and that the existing system encouraged people to have more children than they could afford because they knew their life would be subsidised, so because of this, in 1832 Earl Grey the prime minister set up a poor law commission to examine the existing system and make reforms. The commission led by Nassau Senior and Edwin Chadwick wanted an end to outdoor relief for the poor and were positive that the workhouses would be a success (Bagley,1966 pg 48) The Royal Commissions findings were published and the recommendations become the basis of the poor law amendment act (Checkland 1974). Summary of the 1834 Poor Law amendment act.
As Strayer, Gatzke, and Harbison state in their textbook The Course of Civilization states “The basic trouble was that very few inhabitants of the empire believed that the old civilization was worth saving… the overwhelming majority of the population had been systematically excluded from political responsibilities. They could not organize to protect themselves; they could not serve in the army… Their economic plight was hopeless. Most of them were serfs bound to the soil, and the small urban groups saw their cities slipping into an economic decline.”(DBQ 2, Doc 1) What these men mean is the majority of the people (which were poor serfs) were excluded from political responsibilities. In addition, they could not protect themselves or serve in the army mainly because they were too poor (in order to be in the army, the people had to be wealthy) and the urban patricians saw their city fall into an economic downfall. What also led the downfall of the Western Roman Empire were the rise of Christianity and the large size
Everywhere you go, poverty can be found. There are families living on the streets because they can’t afford a house. A few families are starving and cold because they lost everything they own in this economic depression. The reason is because rich people won’t spend a few of their dollars to help our economic situation while the poor put forth everything they had. I believe that it would be in the world’s best interest if state governments would hire thieves to steal from the rich and give to the poor.
Saying that, “failure to address these issues not only hurts these workers’ families, it erodes the functioning of America’s communities, its economy and our very notions of what democracy can achieve (Fairness Initiative).” Also, although food stamps are supposed to be there to help working poor families, it still in the end leads to further erode in their economic well-being. So in dealing with all these issues, many working poor families are left stressed. The fact of these families living in poverty is enough, but also the fact that children have to endure these conditions in poverty is unbearable. “. .
But most of the workers, hired into the factories were not adults, but children who were orphaned or forced into labour due to poverty. The poor children really had no choice to work in factories or coal mines because their families needed money and have everyone work at the earliest ages, also most children couldn’t go to school and get an education because their families didn’t have enough money to support them. They also didn’t make as much money as adults either; usually 10-20% of a normal mans earnings per day. So they were considered “cheap labour” by the factory owners. There was an alternate way of making a living in London for children, as in Oliver, children stole from others and made quite a decent living, but for most the reality of their lives were found in the factories and
The lack of usable land in Russia and the subdivison of land between families both resulted in an incredibly low income, especially for larger families. This combined with the illiteracy of the people and refusal of the Tsar to provide basic education meant that there was no way to escape the misfortunes of life as a peasant. The poor harvests of 1900 and 1902 worsened matters even further and fuelled the peasants anger. The famines and starvation that followed provided sufficient evidence that the Tsar was not a born leader, “gifted and sent from God” as they had been taught to believe, but a weak and incompetent leader, incapable of making decisions or change. Another issue was that whilst the Tsar encouraged the industrial growth of Russia, and was keen for the country to become an industrial power, when peasants then left the land to work in the developing enterprises, they discovered that their living conditions did not improve.