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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Beatrice Webb

b. 1858, Gloucester, England; d. 1943, Liphook, England

Beatrice Webb studied the conditions of the working class in England as a socialist economist and historian. She wrote numerous books on the root causes of poverty, including The Co-Operative Movement in Great Britain (1891) and her Minority Report to the 1909 Royal Commission on the Poor Laws, which advocated universal social insurance, laying the groundwork for the modern welfare state. In collaboration with her husband and partner Sidney James Webb, she authored The History of Trade Unionism (1894), Industrial Democracy (1897), and Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation? (1935). The couple were prominent members of the Fabian Society and, in 1895, founded the London School of Economics and Political Science.