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The workhouse system
Expenditure on the poor had been steadily rising in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, along with the rise in the general population, and the combination of the workhouse system plus outside help, in the form of money or essential provisions, was placing ever greater demands upon the poor rate.
The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834
The new Act set up the Poor Law Commission for England and Wales, charged with forcing unions of parishes to carry out poor relief in a new, and less costly, way. The new Poor Law Unions were to be supervised by Boards of Guardians , elected by the ratepayers and prominent landowners of the parish. As well as appointing officials such as the relieving officer and the workhouse master to run the new workhouse unions, they also supervised the removal of the poor under the settlement laws, and agreed payments with other unions to take on "their" paupers.
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