Marx’s Views on English Social and Labour Legislation
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The aim of this paper is to look at Marx’s analysis of British social and labour legislation and compare it with those offered by other authors both in the liberal and the socialist camp. The first step taken by the reformed British Parliament towards a full-flagged laissez-faire regime was the reform of the Old Poor Laws in 1834. From that date onward, poor relief would become more difficult to obtain, and at a very high cost in terms of human dignity. However, starting from 1820, the perception that ‘‘unrestricted factory industrialization made beasts of men, women, and children’’ led bourgeois Parliaments to develop a sophisticated labour legislation which was introduced by a series of Factory Acts. The paper aims to provide a more exhaustive assessment of Marx’s judgment of the bourgeois institutions in passing legislations meant to ameliorate the poor’s and worker’s living conditions.
keywordsKarl Marx, Speenhamland system, Factory Acts.
Biografia dell'autoreDepartment of Economics, Catholic University of Milano, Italy. Email: email@example.com.
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