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The Logic of Charity
 
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The Logic of Charity
Amsterdam, 1800-1850
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
07 Apr 2000
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£105.00
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9780333696033
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This study analyses poor relief in preindustrial Europe. It offers a simple model of poor relief as a survival strategy of the poor and as a control strategy of the elites. Thus it not only deals with poverty and the problems of the poor but also with wealth and the concerns of the elites and the middle classes. A simple model of poor relief is presented, based on insights gained from numerous studies by historians, sociologists and welfare economists. This model is tested against the historical records for Amsterdam from 1800 to 1850. Use has been made of many types of source, both literary - such as poems - and quantitative. The exceptionally rich Amsterdam archives allow a subtle, penetrating, tantalizing and compassionate analysis of poor relief in the preindustrial past. The study brings out some of the perennial problems of social policy, past and present, as well as some aspects of old regime charity, now vanished.


Description

This study analyses poor relief in preindustrial Europe. It offers a simple model of poor relief as a survival strategy of the poor and as a control strategy of the elites. Thus it not only deals with poverty and the problems of the poor but also with wealth and the concerns of the elites and the middle classes. A simple model of poor relief is presented, based on insights gained from numerous studies by historians, sociologists and welfare economists. This model is tested against the historical records for Amsterdam from 1800 to 1850. Use has been made of many types of source, both literary - such as poems - and quantitative. The exceptionally rich Amsterdam archives allow a subtle, penetrating, tantalizing and compassionate analysis of poor relief in the preindustrial past. The study brings out some of the perennial problems of social policy, past and present, as well as some aspects of old regime charity, now vanished.


Reviews

'...an elegant model for explaining how poor relief worked well beyond the boundaries of Amsterdam.' - Journal of Interdisciplinary History

'...van Leeuwen opens an interesting insight into the world of poverty and richness in Amsterdam in the first half of the nineteenth century.' - American Historical Review


Contents

List of Maps
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Plates
Preface
Poor Relief in Preindustrial Europe
Poverty and Riches
Poor Relief as a Control Strategy
Poor Relief as a Survival Strategy
The Role of Poor Relief in Society
Concluding Remarks
Appendix A: The Anatomy of Charitable Power
Appendix B: A Short Survey of European Charity: Recipients and the Value of Their Relief
Archives Consulted
Bibliography
Index


Authors

MARCO H. D. VAN LEEUWEN'S chosen field is the study of social inequality in Europe from 1500 to the present. His publications include papers on poor relief (Journal of Interdisciplinary History and Social History), on trade-union welfare (Economic History Review) and on social mobility (Journal of Social History and Continuity and Change).