By Marco H.D. Van Leeuwen

This learn analyses bad aid in preindustrial Europe from 1800 to 1850, as a survival technique of the bad and as a keep an eye on technique of the elites. It bargains with poverty and the issues of the bad, but in addition with wealth and the troubles of the elites and of the center periods. an easy version of negative reduction is gifted, in keeping with insights derived from historical past, sociology and welfare economics. it really is established opposed to the old documents of Amsterdam from 1800 to 1850. The research brings out a number of the perennial difficulties of social coverage, previous and current, in addition to a few points of outdated Regime charity, now vanished.

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On arrival, migrants from the same region often lived in the same part of the city, providing mutual support. Incomers from Auvergne even managed to monopolize the water-carrying trade in Paris and Lyon; outsiders were warned off with beatings. Needless to 18 The Logic of Charity say, the dishonest poor – tramps and criminals – also made use of these social networks. 60 People can enhance their prospects by using their own resources – their economic and political clout, their knowledge of social norms and of cultural codes and their formal qualifications – and also those of their friends, family and acquaintances.

In it, the historical context of the model – that is, Amsterdam society during the first half of the nineteenth century – is briefly sketched. This helps to clarify, among other things, how the general model reflects that context: who, for instance, were the elites in Amsterdam whom we have supposed to have had so strong a grip on poor relief? What is the meaning of something as abstract as ‘regulation of the labour market’ for society? A similar clarification is given in respect of the definition of the poor.

In rural areas a system of extra allowances had been introduced, by which agricultural labourers received wage supplements out of poor relief. Taxpayers met the costs Poor Relief in Preindustrial Europe 25 in every parish. According to the commission this system fostered voluntary unemployment and reduced the productivity of those who were at work. The taxpayer subsidized this voluntary unemployment, and the commission asserted that this explained the rising costs of poor relief. 88 In 1834 the conclusions of the commission led to a new poor law by which wage supplements to able-bodied workers through poor relief were to be abolished.

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