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Why Should They Ask Me To Put On A Uniform And Go 10,000 Miles From Home And Drop Bombs And Bullets On Brown People In Vietnam While So Called Negro People In Louisville Are Treated Like Dogs And Denied Simple Human Rights?

2151 words - 9 pages

Tola Obembe L6CMTThe Old Poor Law attacked: why was change necessary?What were the pressures for change of the Old Poor LawThe ending of the wars with France (1793-1815) led to greater demands for poor relief.The harvests of 1813 and 1814 were good in England and on the continent. The ending of the blockade meant that cheap foreign core could be imported again from Europe which forced English Farmers to keep their prices low. Many went bankrupt as they had to pay taxes and an increasing poor rate. Those who employed were pushed to pauperism as employers had to reduce wages. The Poor Law was close to collapse.In 1815 the government persuaded by Parliament tried to improve the situation by introducing Corn Laws to protect British farmers. Corn Laws would not allow the import of foreign corn until British corn reached 80 shillings per quarter. This was suppose to hold the price of corn and bread steady as well as keep wages stable. However people resented the Corn Laws as they believed it kept the price of bread artificial high. There riots and outbreaks of violence all over the country.Post-war distress meant that more people than ever before claimed relief and began to regard relief as a right. Problems experience by returning soldiers and sailors, appalling weather and poor harvests resulted in the expenditure on poor relief reaching an unimaginable 8 million between 1817-19.In the midst of all this, the 1817 Report of the Select Committee on the Poor Laws comprehensively condemned the evils of the Poor Law as being themselves the creators of poverty.The impact of the increasing cost of providing poor reliefThe money parishes used for looking after their own poor was raised by a rate on poverty, and was obviously limited. Years of bad harvests when many more people than usual would be claiming poor relief, could prove disastrous for a particular parish. Whether a parish was rural, urban or somewhere in between the overall cost for nation of poor relief was rising.The impact of agricultural unrestIn over 20 counties the rural poor burned hayricks and barns, smashed the hated threshing machines, intimidated their employers, poor law overseers and magistrates. The rioters wanted a halt to reductions in their wages that made them paupers and the removal of the threshing machined that deprived them of autumn and winter unemployment. The Home Secretary Lord Melbourne ordered that the rioters should be dealt with harshly. A revolution had just happened in France and he couldn't risk one breaking out in Britain. A special commission of 3 judges were appointed to try the rioters. Even though the Swing riots resulted in no death, 19 were hanged, 644 sentenced to imprisonment.How did the government take action in 1832?The general election of 1831 brought about a change of government, with the reforming Whigs having a clear and probably absolute, majority in the House of Commons. This combined with a general consensus among the propertied classes that...

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