The poor and the sick-poor have always presented a problem to the governments and churches of Europe. Whose responsibility are they? Are they a wilful burden on the honest working population, or are they a necessary presence for the true Christian to live the true Christian life? In the 18th and 19th centuries what happened to the poor and the sick-poor in the north and south of Europe was different. In the north there occurred first the Reformation in the 16th century, which changed attitudes to the poor, and then the advent of industrialisation, with its far-reaching effects of pauperisation of people both in town and countryside. In the Catholic south, where industrialisation did not appear so soon, the Catholic Church introduced a programme of reform at all levels but along traditional lines. This included the founding of new orders dedicated to the care of the poor and sick, of new institutions within which to house and care for them. At all times it was taken for granted that it was a necessary aspect of being a Christian that one should give for the care of the needy, and that this was not the duty of the state or of secular institutions. The secularising movement did however reach the southern countries by way both of the Enlightenment and - more drastically - in the form of the Napoleonic invasions. But after the defeat of Napoleon, the Church reasserted its right to administer and control the support of the poor and sick, and this situation continued until 1900 in most areas. Moreover the effects of industrialisation and the concomitant increase in population did make itself felt in the south in the course of the 19th century, which put great stress on the institutions for poor relief and health care for the poor. All this is still relevant today, since the situations that governments and the Catholic Church found themselves confronted with, and the stark choices they had to make, are being replayed to some extent today. Who is responsible for the poor, who is to blame for their being poor? How should their poverty be relieved, how should the health care of the many be funded? These are still live issues today. While complete in itself the present volume also forms the fourth and last of a four-volume survey of health care and poor relief in Europe between 1500 and 1900, edited by Ole Peter Grell and Andrew Cunningham
Contents: Some closing and opening remarks, Andrew Cunningham; Health care and poor relief in southern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, John A. Davis; Poor relief and health care in southern Europe, 1700-1900: The ideological context, Nicholas Davidson; Demand and charitable supply: poverty and poor relief in Austria in the 18th and 19th centuries, Martin Scheutz; Welfare provision in Castile and Madrid, Pedro Carasa; Poor relief and health care in 18th and 19th century Catalonia and Barcelona, Alfons Zarzoso; Poor relief, social control and health care in 18th and 19th century Portugal, Maria AntÃ³nia Lopes; The Pope, the beggar, the sick, and the brotherhoods: health care and poor relief in 18th and 19th century Rome, Martin Papenheim; Poor relief, enlightenment medicine and the Protomedicato of Parma, 1748-1820, David Gentilcore; Poverty, relief and hospitals in Naples in the 18th and 19th century, Brigitte Marin; Medicine for the poor in 18th and 19th century Bologna, Gianna Pomata; Welfare provision in Piedmont, Giovanna Farrell-Vinay; A journey of body and soul: the significance of the hospitals in southern, Catholic Europe for John Howard's views of health care and the creation of the utopian hospital, Ole Peter Grell; Index.
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.