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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

SUBJECT-MATTER OF LAW AND  ADMINISTRATION.    419
cient, a sum from the poor rates,—thus making large classes,
who  were self-supporting before,  objects  of charity.    The
operation of the poor laws in degrading the poor, in widen-
ing the circle of relief, irr helping the unworthy and dissolute,
in laying a heavy, almost intolerable burden on the properties
in the parishes, reached its acme during the early part of the
present century.    It is said that the poor rates in 1833 reached
the amount of 8,600,000 pounds sterling.    In 1834 a new
law was made, after a commission appointed for the purpose
had made a careful report.    The principles of this law were
to confine relief to the destitute, to administer only to the
wants of the aged and of orphans at their homes, and to re-
quire the able-bodied to enter workhouses, if they desired aid.
A new system of workhouses, serving for several parishes,
was substituted for the badly regulated parish workhouses
then  existing, and a control was established over the new
boards of elected guardians of the poor, through a board of
commissioners in London.    The system justifies itself by its
fruits, which are seen in an increased self-respect of the poor,
in a diminution of the number receiving charity, and in the
greatly diminished sums .expended on this account, reducing
them in their ratio to the population as much as one-half.
Still all could not be effected which was desired, and proba-
bly never will be, until landed property shall be within the
reach of the lower class to purchase.    The " Union-chargea-
bility Bill" of 1865 removed one evil arising from the fact that
when one or a few proprietors owned a whole parish, they
would refuse to have cottages built on their lands for their
laborers, in order to prevent them from acquiring a settle-
ment there.    The act requires each separate union of parishes,
instead of each parish, to have equal rates, thus removing in
great part the motive of these selfish proceedings of the land-
lords.*
I have given the particulars of English legislation in brief,
* Molesworth, Hist, of Engl. (1830-1874)," iii., 254.—Comp.^the
same writei i., 309 onw., for the new poor law, May's Const. Hist.,
ii., 564, and many others.