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Encyclopedia > Pauperism

Pauperism (Lat. pauper, poor) is a term meaning generally the state of being poor or poverty, but in English usage particularly the condition of being a "pauper", i.e. in receipt of relief administered under the poor law. In this sense the word is to be distinguished from "poverty". A person to be relieved under the poor law must be a destitute person, and the moment he has been relieved he becomes a pauper, and as such incurs certain civil disabilities. Statistics dealing with the state of pauperism in this sense convey not the amount of destitution actually prevalent, but the particulars of people in receipt of poor law relief.


This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.


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The Paupers (237 words)
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The Christian obligation to care for the poor and the impossibility of doing so adequately was a serious problem in the minds of many, since scripture, particularly Jesus' words in the 25th chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, emphasized that charity was essential for salvation.
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It became clear to many that the paupers were a guarantee of cheap labor, and that the leaders of the economy had no wish to see them disappear.
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