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By E.T. Ashton, A.F. Young

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By 1850 there was no longer the same hostility to public education and the government had set up a new education department; education however was still for another twenty years to be a battleground between the Church of England and the Nonconformists. The mid-century saw some attempt to bring culture to the working classes in other forms too. There was a successful campaign for libraries and museums. The library movement had been started inside industry itself as more enlightened employers, following the Ashtons, the Strut& and the Gregs, provided libraries for their own work-people.

Some slight relief was afforded by the Settlement Act of 1795, which provided that a person had to be actually chargeable and not in grave ill-health before action could be taken to remove him. The Settlement Laws continued to be, for a hundred years and more, a bane and an insult to the poor. The famous Specnhamland system of supplementing low wages out of the rates, on a scale related to the size of the labourer’s 44 INFLUENCE OF POOR LAW PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE family and the price of the gallon loaf, spread throughout Southern England.

The sentiment of human bcn(volcncc, ant1 its practical expression, derived directly from religious influence. ;ious rcvivnlism, that all men were children of God, and lovccl by Him. It began to mean, as the century advanced, that all men had equal dignity in the eyes of God, ancl should thcreforc bc so rcgardcd by other men. --D 4’ THE DEVELOPMENT affecting men’s doubt that both and the change of the century, OF SOCIAL WORK minds, and above all their feelings. There is no the greatest single urge to help the less fortunate, in the approach to social work towards the end sprang from deep religious experience.

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