(NEW YORK TIMES 1909)
A wealthy businessman, Seebohm Rowntree is well known for his in depth analysis of poverty. When concentrating on this particular time period, he stated that in the 1890s, it was low wages that was the major cause of poverty in Great Britain (ROWNTREE 2008). The problem of unemployment was especially important in bringing about poverty in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. "More than one-quarter of the years from 1834 to 1911 were plagued by high levels of cyclical unemployment". If a worker was unemployed for more than a couple of weeks, he would find himself in economic distress, and would have to look for government support. (BOYER 2004)
A very important factor that led to poverty was widowhood. In case of the death of a husband, women were generally left without any earning family member to support them. This problem arose because at the time, it was not as easy for women to get a job as it is today. The opportunity to get a job for women was easy in the textile centers of the country, but was negligible in the mining and industrial towns. In these areas, therefore, women became victims of acute poverty when left without husbands.