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Module 2

line drawing of an Industrialised suburban landscape circa 1800

Industrialisation and Poverty.

The materials and activities in this module are designed to remove pupils from the present and to appreciate the time of the Poor Law Amendment Act in its historical setting. Between 1750 and 1850 Britain saw the social and economic transformation of Britain. In our own day, we look to government to intervene, to legislate, but this was not the case then. Government action was thought to be only as a last resort. However, early nineteenth century Britain was faced with unparalleled changes for which there was no previous experience to call on. Governments began haltingly to act in the face of tremendous social dislocation both in agriculture and industry. This section examines those changes and poses the question as to what sort of society emerged from those changes.

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