Locke Essay On The Poor Law

Locke Essay On The Poor Law-28
Where there is no hope, be sure there will be no thrift".(Winston Churchill, Liberalism and the Social Problems, 1909, p. Many administrators were outraged at the idea of Central Government becoming involved in the Amendment Act because as far as they were concerned the old system was more than sufficient for the needs of the poor.

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In the initial stages the amendment act was set up to reduce the amount of poor rates that were being paid.

In the first ten years of the amendment act the amount of relief being paid was reduced to a national average of The way to stop this from happening was to reduce the fifteen thousand parishes into six hundred Poor Law unions.

159).(where he speaks of propertied women who should spend all their time raising children in the home) to his "Essay on the Poor Law," which explicitly deals with the propertyless (and where he argues that since women normally do not have more than two children at home under three they still have time to do additional work -- provided by the parish -- in order to develop their rationality and industry) (p. That is, in Locke's "Poor Laws," although women and children who beg are treated less harshly than male beggars (women should be put to work for three months and children under fourteen for six weeks, whereas men are to be punished by forced labor until the vagrant can be set aboard a ship and disciplined for up to three years), poverty in general is seen by Locke as a Wright argues that, far from endorsing the sentimental rhetoric of the roles and obligations of upper-class motherhood beginning to emerge in the early part of the eighteenth century (motherhood came to be seen as a fulltime, all-fulfilling occupation, and maternal breast-feeding a duty, while the old practice of wet nurses was increasingly viewed as uncivilized), Locke's views were more in keeping with aristocratic custom and the ideal of an annual pregnancy (which the practice of giving the child out to a midwife helped along) (pp. Nonetheless, Locke stressed (a somewhat heretical method at the time) close empirical observation from clinical practice (in contrast to an Aristotelian natural philosophy), and a number of his recommendations were decidedly modern: pregnant women should continue to live their lives and exercise (rather than lazily lying around), and childbirth was an entirely natural event that should be interfered with as little as possible.

Indeed, Locke's critique of the class of midwives was of their ignorant, hocus-pocus interventionism and of such useless, unhealthy practices as swaddling newborns and plying them with alcohol (pp. Beyond many more fascinating details that Wright's article presents (Locke thought children should not be fed meat before the age of six, for example), what struck this reader was Locke's apparently genuine concern for the well-being of the mother and with minimizing the pain of her pregnancy, as well as how personally involved he became in both the lives of the women he counseled and in that of their young children (both male Thus, for example, Locke not only repeatedly refers to the liberty of wives to leave their husbands if the latter don't act for their good, but also to the "nourishing father" (and uses the image of "nursing father" as law-giver); so too Locke sees this ideal father as "one of calm reason and conscience" with no power beyond that needed for a concern "for the child's good" and exercised with their tacit consent (p. as [your son] approaches more to a Man, admit him nearer your familiarity; So shall you have him your obedient Subject (as is fit) whilst he is a Child, and your affectionate Friend, when he is a Man.

Hirschmann and Mc Clure's edited collection of ten essays takes a critical look at the philosophy of John Locke and is part of the Penn State series of "re-reading the canon" from a feminist perspective.

Locke Essay On The Poor Law

-- but the volume also includes analyses of Locke's economic writings on women and the poor laws, on money, on education, a delightful article analyzing Locke's notes on midwifery, as well as a discussion of reason and rhetoric (from Locke's Although there is a good deal of overlap in a number of the essays (particularly when it comes to an account of Locke's critique of Filmer's patriarchalism), there is enough diversity in approach and in the style of the essays -- and enough surprises when gathering together all Locke's remarks on women -- to make the volume interesting and fun to read.The Poor Law Guardians then set about obstructing the Poor Law Amendment Act, as they thought it was an unnecessary addition to the current act.The worst of the activities to block this new act was in Huddersfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Secondly, regarding method, the author's unqualified hymn to "metonymn" (money can stand for sexuality, the clipping of coins for castration, solidity for rationality, etc.) reaches into the absurd; The last article of the volume, finally, Linda Zerilli's "Philosophy's Gaudy Dress: Rhetoric and Fantasy in the Lockean Social Contract," defends the use of rhetoric (the "gaudy dress") against Locke's philosophical attacks by arguing that Locke's use of the social contract device essentially already presupposes rhetoric.Regarding substance (or choice of topics), I would have liked to have seen analyses still of a number of those concepts and arguments for which Locke is most famous -- a good feminist discussion on individual freedom, say, or a new analysis of the relation of women to the institution of private ownership (that institution for which Locke unquestionably gave the most important grounding) -- but no collection of essays is perfect.There was a great willingness to keep the poor in one place and so by 1843 there was one hundred and ninety seven thousand one hundred and seventy nine poor incarcerated into the workhouses. "I do not agree with those who say that every man must look after himself, and that intervention by the state, will be fatal to his self-reliance, his foresight and his thrift….It is a mistake to suppose that thrift is caused only by fear; it springs from hope as well as fear.In contrast to Filmer's claim that God gave the earth to Adam and his descendents (thus trying to justify a royal absolutism), Locke argues that political power -- which includes the right of life and death over its subjects -- and paternal power are radically For both Shanley and Butler -- as well as according to the more recent articles by Gordon Schochet and Jeremy Waldron -- Locke's slow whittling away of patriarchal presumptions holds radical consequences for the status of women -- at least theoretically -- and even if largely unintended by Locke himself.Locke not only holds that women are in full possession of rationality, that mothers "share" with fathers parental power over their children, and that the marriage contract is voluntary for both parties and the terms to some extent even negotiable by each, but also that marriage itself may be dissolved by either party once its chief end -- the raising of the children -- has been achieved., as well as in personal letters, Locke argues for the "same" education for both young boys and girls (both should have home tutors) "making a little allowance for beauty and some few other considerations" (Locke to Mrs. And, in describing the female theologian Damaris Cudworth Masham (with whom Locke had a well-known close relationship), he writes that her excellent judgment and clearness of thought go beyond the range, "I do not say of most women, but even of most learned men" (Locke to Limborch, March 13, 1690/91).Many areas throughout the country though found solutions to this problem within the legal frame-work of the Elizabethan Poor Law of 1597-1601. In the initial stages the amendment act was set up to reduce the amount of poor rates that were being paid. (1982) The Poor Law in 19th Century Englandand Wales.


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