Work and Unemployment 1834-1911
Throughout the entire period covered by this collection, in order to receive assistance when unemployed (whether through the Poor Law or government public works or unemployment insurance), people (men, most often) had to have a positive relationship to paid employment. This is the subject of Proposed Solutions to Unemployment. In "Back to the Land and Labour Colonies," the sources explore various efforts to train urban unemployed men in agricultural work. Similarly, "Emigration and Empire" looks at the ways that private societies and local and central government bodies promoted emigration schemes to send unemployed men to colonies that could use their work. "The Right to Work" changes perspective, focusing on the demands of labour and unemployed groups who made arguments that unemployed men should be given work or maintained at a level that equalled their pay. The collection finishes with "The Unemployed Workman’s Act and Unemployment Insurance," which shows that even with the promise of national government action, the moralizing language of blaming the unemployed for their condition remained.
- 2021 selection and editorial matter, Marjorie Levine-Clark
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