The Problem of the Poor in Tudor and Early Stuart England

The Problem of the Poor in Tudor and Early Stuart England

The Problem of the Poor in Tudor and Early Stuart England

The Problem of the Poor in Tudor and Early Stuart England

Synopsis

This pamphlet examines recent research into the poor laws of Tudor and Stuart England. Dr Beier asks the question 'who were the poor?' and in answering it places the 'problem of the poor' in its historical context, examining it in relation to medieval provisions for dealing with poverty. He shows how far legislation was influenced by economic changes, by ideas about poverty and by the interests of the legislators themselves. Dr Beier evaluates the varying interpretations of the poor laws, from those who have seen them as an early 'welfare state' to those who have considered them to be the manifestation of a 'Protestant ethic'. The major poor-law statues are summarized in an appendix, and there is a useful bibliography.

Excerpt

Lancaster Pamphlets offer concise and up-to-date accounts of major historical topics, primarily for the help of students preparing for Advanced Level examinations, though they should also be of value to those pursuing introductory courses in universities and other institutions of higher education. They do not rely on prior textbook knowledge. Without being all-embracing, their aims are to bring some of the central themes or problems confronting students and teachers into sharper focus than the textbook writer can hope to do; to provide the reader with some of the results of recent research which the textbook may not embody; and to stimulate thought about the whole interpretation of the topic under discussion.

At the end of this pamphlet is a numbered list of the recent or fairly recent works that the writer considers most relevant to his subject. Where a statement or a paragraph is particularly indebted to one or more of these works, the number is given in the text in brackets. This serves to show readers where they may find a more detailed exposition of the point concerned.

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