Approaches To Poverty Analysis

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Approaches to poverty mean the different ways the country tried to combat and “cleanse” the land from the poor. In 1536, England was a country undergoing huge changes. The monasteries were being dissolved, and England faced a big rebellion, the Pilgrimage of Grace, from Northerners whom were angry about the religious changes. Attitudes to poverty were not at all sympathetic; many hated and distrusted those unemployed whom travelled around (vagabonds). This distrust was not helped by those who pretended to be disabled, who were called “cranks”. This essay will look at the different acts that were put in place and see if the approaches changed significantly in the years 1536-76.
A major impact on the increase of poverty were the closure of the
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In some places where the monastery was the centre of life, the community collapsed. Land the monasteries had been on was sold off, making more profit for Henry. Because of this, sheep farming increased, which in turn produced enormous profits for landowners. This was a newer industry, but one that required fewer workers and therefore added to the unemployment problem England was already facing. It can be seen that Henry, in his reign, was not focused on the problem of poverty. It could be argued that his approach was harsh, in that both he and the government introduced harsh punishments like whipping and branding to deter people from becoming beggars. Despite this, Henry did introduce the first “Poor Law act”, in 1535. This act stated it was the responsibility for counties, districts and parishes to administer (but not fund) relief for the poor. It also stated that relief was to be collected from voluntary contributions and charities, and that the able-bodied poor should go to work. The children of the poor living in poverty who were between 5-13 were ordered to be apprentices. Though this was …show more content…
Her long reign brought stability to the country who had just been through various religious changes, in a short period of time. Her reign also meant she was able to combat the problem of poverty, which she did by introducing a number of laws and acts, including a fairer system of taxation. The first poor law Elizabeth introduced was the poor law of 1563, (1563 Act For the Relief of the Poor). This extended the poor act of 1555, which looked at those who refused to give donations and the fines they would face. However, in the same year, wages were further affected by a government move to curb inflation. Despite this, it seems social attitudes had not changed. In 1566 Thomas Harman wrote a book about vagabonds, and said “They are punished by whippings. Yet they like this life so much that their punishment is soon forgotten. They never think of changing until they climb the gallows.” This shows many still believed that most beggars and vagabonds were ‘deserving’ and that they chose to live as vagabonds, as he says “They like this life so much”. This didn’t stop new laws and act being introduced, as the introduction of a national poor law tax in 1572 was an important step forward for England. It recognised that the poor were now society 's responsibility, and that of the local community. The same year, in the 1572 Vagabonds Act, ‘overseers of the poor’ were appointed. Their job was to

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