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 Search Beat > Society and Culture > Issues > Poverty > Welfare > Welfare Reform Timeline - Roman Era Thru 1800's


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Welfare Reform History
Timeline - Roman Era to 1800's
Europe and United States

Date Continent:
Country
Event

71 B.C Europe:
Rome
40,000 people receive food each year from Roman food stores.

44 B.C. Europe:
Rome
150,000 people receive food each year from Roman food stores under Caesar.

1529 Europe:
Lyons
Food riots in Lyons.
Charity at this time just involves almsgiving through the Church and begging on the street.

1531 Europe:
England
English Parliament passes an act to register poor and provide them with a document allowing them to beg.

1534 Europe:
Lyons
To reduce poverty riots, Lyons centralizes administration ("Aumone-Generale") for giving aid to the poor.

Includes house-to-house surveys, free medical care for the sick, begging was outlawed.

1536 Europe:
France
King Francis I asks that all parishes in France set up a mechanism to register and care for the poor.

1536 Europe:
England
Under Henry VIII, English Parliament passes an act that requires all parishes to care for their poor. Beggars were outlawed and punished.

1550's Europe:
Lyons
Relief for poor in Lyons grows to 10% of population with definite means to monitor the poor.

1572 Europe:
England
Elizabethan Poor Laws are passed. Poor tax is instituted to provide for care of the poor. Relief administrators ordered to put vagrants to work.

1576 Europe:
England
Relief officials required to supply the poor with raw materials so the poor could work in their homes with the relief pay based on their work output.

1597 Europe:
England
Parliament restructures the Poor Laws and requires that families of the destitute care for their own.

1600
to 1620
Europe:
England
Parish relief system whithers away.

1621
to 1622
Europe:
England
Disorders results in Privy Council setting up a commission to administer the Poor Laws.

1630's Europe:
England
Better administration of Poor Laws instituted by the Privy Council commision ends up with higher relief rolls and less disorder.

Mid
1600's
Europe:
England
Relief rolls decrease dramatically during the Civil War.

1723 Europe:
England
Act of parliament allows establishment of workhouses.

1740 United States First almshouse set up in Boston.

1750's Europe:
England
"Bills of Enclosure" force many farmers from the land ending with high unemployment and riots.

1760
to 1781
Europe:
England
Relief taxes grow by 60% to support the displaced rural population.

1790 Europe:
Bavaria
Establishment of work institution for the poor to manufacture clothing.

1818 Europe:
England
Relief tax increases by sixfold from 1760 to 1818.

1840-41 Europe:
England
"Labor yards" established where unemployed could come and work

1845-50 Europe:
Ireland
The Great Irish Famine.

A potato blight partially destroys the Irish crop and causes widespread famine, destroying the old social order. Different attempts are made at relief but to little avail.

Famine sources worldwide.

1850 Europe:
England
Nearly 10% of population are paupers.

1884 United States By this time, an estimated 600 almshouses had been set up in New England.

1880's
to 1890's
United States Attempts were made to move poor from work yards to poorhouses if they wanted relief funds.

1893-94 United States Some members of Congress attempt to establish unemployment payments but fail during the 1893-1894 recession. Similar attempts failed in 1914 and 1921.



Continued on next page --->
Click to: Welfare History Timeline: 1900's - United States



 
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