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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
LEGISLATIVE CHANGES AIMING TO IMPROVE CHILD WELFARE IN VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN BRITAIN
 
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Państwowa Szkoła Wyższa im. Papieża Jana Pawła II w Białej Podlaskiej Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska
Publication date: 2018-07-12
 
Economic and Regional Studies 2010;4(1):49–57
 
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ABSTRACT
The article addresses the issue of state responsibility for the welfare of children in Britain in the Victorian and the Edwardian periods. Taking into consideration the number of Acts of Parliament attempting to improve child welfare in the years 1870-1908, it seems that it was particularly in this period that the state assumed a considerably greater degree of responsibility for the well-being of its youngest citizens than ever before. Another conclusion of the article seems to be a realization that it is very difficult to compare the standards of child welfare at present and in the nineteenth century, for even the very concept of childhood seems to be in a sense untranslatable. While today we generally regard the end of childhood to coincide with and the beginning of adulthood, both of which happen at the age of eighteen, in nineteenth century and early twentieth century Britain this age might have been as little as nine or ten, if the ability to work was concerned, ten or twelve, if we regarded the school leaving age or as high as twenty-one or even thirty if the voting rights are concerned.
 
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