Roy Lubove provides an analysis of three landmark documents in British social history: Edwin C. Chadwick's 1842 report he Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of England; the 1834 Report of the Royal Poor Law Commission; and the majority and minority Reports of the Royal Poor Law Commission of 1909. Chadwick's work was instrumental to developing modern public health and sanitary controls. The 1834 report shaped attitudes toward poverty and poor law institutions for nearly a century. The 1909 reports suggested major revisions to the 1834 document, particularly in transferring responsibility to local government, away from private institutions. Taken together, the three documents illustrate changing perceptions of poverty, the organization of welfare institutions, and the role of the state.
Roy Lubove, was professor of social welfare and history at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of several books, including: The Progressives and the Slums; Social Welfare in Transition: Selected English Documents, 1834Ð1909and Community Planning in the 1920s: The Contribution of the Regional Planning Association of America.