With the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain shifted from an agrarian-to an industrial-based economy, diminishing the role of the parishes. People migrated to urban centers. The population grew from 10.5 million in 1801 to 45 million in 1901. The problem of poverty became almost insurmountable. Great Britain’s solution was the workhouse – basically a prison for the “crime” of being poor. Being old, infirm, a child, mentally or physically disabled, pregnant, evicted or underemployed were not factors that counted. Being poor was God’s punishment for flaws in character and those so-called flaws "had to be" sequestered and controlled. Fear of the workhouse dominated the lives of the majority in Great Britain. Learn about a Christian institution that was anything but.