Locke Essay On The Poor Law

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.Where there is no hope, be sure there will be no thrift".

That is, whereas many women, in all classes of society in the late seventeenth century, were still engaged in self-sustaining productive work (some trades and professions, notably brewing and midwifery, were even exclusive preserves of women), with the development of the capitalist market a new separation of economic production from the household emerges.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. In essence, Pech claims that, in arguing for the reassertion of the silver standard in the face of the coinage crisis of the 1690s (and in face of the growing practice of 'clipping' or shaving away silver from the edges of coins), Locke seeks to deny "fluidity" (connected with the feminine) and "the threat of castration" that the clippers represented (p. Heavily indebted to French psychoanalytic theory in general, and to Irigaray's sweeping claims of the masculine suppression of feminine "fluidity' in particular, Pech's assumption that the connection of femininity with fluidity and the shame of leaky bodies was part of Locke's thought and the "Aristotelian medical frameworks" of the period (p. As we saw in the discussion of midwifery above, Locke rejected many an Aristotelian hangover; nor does Pech cite any references from Locke himself regarding "fluidity", its shamefulness, etc.(and his notes on midwifery would have been a good place to look).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. The social and economic changes at this time produced many problems for those that were responsible for the social welfare.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.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.


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