Entry from British & World English dictionary
Definition of Speenhamland system in English:
A system of poor relief first adopted in the late 18th century and established throughout rural England in succeeding years.
- In 1793, the state gave allowances to wives and children of soldiers called to the militia, possibly providing a precedent for the Speenhamland system of 1795.
- In effect, the Speenhamland system set a maximum as well as a minimum standard of living.
- The Speenhamland system, named after a meeting held in Speenhamland in 1795, was intended to help the rural poor.
First adopted in Speenhamland, an English village near Newbury, Berks.
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