Health Care and Poor Relief in 18th and 19th Century Northern Europe: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Health Care and Poor Relief in 18th and 19th Century Northern Europe

1st Edition

By Ole Peter Grell, Andrew Cunningham


348 pages

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Throughout history governments have had to confront the problem of how to deal with the poorer parts of their population. During the medieval and early modern period this responsibility was largely borne by religious institutions, civic institutions and individual charity. By the eighteenth century, however, the rapid social and economic changes brought about by industrialisation put these systems under intolerable strain, forcing radical new solutions to be sought to address both old and new problems of health care and poor relief. This volume looks at how northern European governments of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries coped with the needs of the poor, whilst balancing any new measures against the perceived negative effects of relief upon the moral wellbeing of the poor and issues of social stability. Taken together, the essays in this volume chart the varying responses of states, social classes and political theorists towards the great social and economic issue of the age, industrialisation. Its demands and effects undermined the capacity of the old poor relief arrangements to look after those people that the fits and starts of the industrialisation cycle itself turned into paupers. The result was a response that replaced the traditional principle of 'outdoor' relief, with a generally repressive system of 'indoor' relief that lasted until the rise of organised labour forced a more benign approach to the problems of poverty. Although complete in itself, this volume also forms the third of a four-volume survey of health care and poor relief provision between 1500 and 1900, edited by Ole Peter Grell and Andrew Cunningham.

Table of Contents

Contents: General Themes: Health care and poor relief in 18th and 19th-century northern Europe, Ole Peter Grell and Andrew Cunningham; Health care and the construction of citizenship in civil societies in the era of the Enlightenment and industrialisation, Dorothy Porter; Histories of risk and welfare in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, Marco van Leeuwen; The German States: Health care provision and poor relief in enlightenment and 19th-century Prussia, Fritz Dross; Health care provision and poor relief in the electorate and kingdom of Bavaria, Michael Stolberg; Urban charity and the relief of the sick poor in northern Germany, 1750-1850, Mary Lindemann; Russia and Scandinavia: Health care and poor relief in Russia (1700-1856), Hubertus Jahn; Health care provision and poor relief in enlightenment and 19th-century Denmark, Gerda Bonderup; Ideology or pragmatism?: health care provision and poor relief in Norway in the 19th century, Øivind Larsen; Britain: Health care and poor relief in provincial England, Anne Crowther; Medical relief and the new Poor Law in London, David Green; Poor relief and health care in 19th-century Scotland, Rosalind Mitchison; The Netherlands: Dutch approaches to problems of illness and poverty between the Golden Age and the Fin de Siècle, Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra; France: Poor relief and medical assistance in 18th-and 19th-century Paris, Matthew Ramsey; Health care provision and poor relief in 19th-century provincial France, Olivier Faure; Index.

About the Series

The History of Medicine in Context

An interest in medicine is one of the constants that re-occurs throughout history. From the earliest times, man has sought ways to combat the myriad of diseases and ailments that afflict the human body, resulting in a number of evolving and often competing philosophies and practices whose repercussions spread far beyond the strictly medical sphere.

For more than a decade The History of Medicine in Context series has provided a unique platform for the publication of research pertaining to the study of medicine from broad social, cultural, political, religious and intellectual perspectives. Offering cutting-edge scholarship on a range of medical subjects that cross chronological, geographical and disciplinary boundaries, the series consistently challenges received views about medical history and shows how medicine has had a much more pronounced effect on western society than is often acknowledged. As medical knowledge progresses, throwing up new challenges and moral dilemmas, The History of Medicine in Context series offers the opportunity to evaluate the shifting role and practice of medicine from the long perspective, not only providing a better understanding of the past, but often an intriguing perspective on the present.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General