The White Act And The Black Act Essay

The White Act And The Black Act Essay

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To say that the government micromanaged the financial facets of the lower class society would be an understatement. They had certainly put their fingers into every pie of every aspect of the lower class’ life, at least the reformers certainly expressed their feelings of such a micromanaged oppression. Thompson’s Whigs and Hunters discusses the Black Act in heavy detail. The Black act was initially a means of controlling hunting so that game was readily available for the Royals. The book illustrates the harsh punishment of death the bill entailed far for the small townsfolk surviving on agriculture around forests. Some of the additional crimes were public disorder, mismanaging criminal justice, and crimes or injury against property or people. As you can see, once a simple law with a clear motive of keeping a vibrant hunting experience for the upper class was, over time, expanded into an intricate act that had entangled 114 cases of things such like sedition, murder, and arson by the majority of the accused being laborers, servants, and fishermen. However, it was not just the agricultural lower class that saw a change in their livelihoods at the hand of a nosy government.
The Industrial Revolution, the Hanoverian period saw poor women and children joining men in textile work but roles remained separated by gender. Everyone’s public and private lives were kept compartmentalized by gender, skill, and class level and every job had different levels of scrutiny by the government based on those working there as well as the patrons. In a sense the lower class, particularly the women were criminalized for taking whatever work they could find it. Once again, scholars presenting the female narrative must emphasize the religious scorn of adop...


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... said that the poor’s lifestyles was most definitely oppressed by the upper class that did not understand them. Additionally, their responses to those laws and other government interventions during this time of marginalization were completely justified. However, knowing the consequences could mean death, especially with the food riots, the decision to act against the government in the manner they had may not have been the wisest. Still, higher society criminalized the poor and it was certainly not done as a means to make the crisis any better. If one believes that a sovereign government is responsible for the wellbeing of its people it was very obvious Britain had failed. Historiographically, there could be more available on the women’s experience during this era. However, when examining the topic through legislation the passions of the poor are certainly quite clear.

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