Public Assistance of the Poor in France
From the Middle Ages to the Late 19th Century (New Edition)
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This book is a historical assessment of state institutions and other social arrangements put in place to alleviate poverty in France. It draws from both primary (notably archives of the Church) and secondary sources (such as Monnier’s Histoire de l’Assistance Publique). It offers a comparative perspective with respect to contemporary arrangements in Britain and the United States, including some early poverty statistics. The result is a useful and concise account of the history of social institutions which continues to be of relevance over a century after its initial publication.
This New Edition has been typeset with modern techniques. It has been painstakingly proofread to ensure that it is free from errors.
PART I Under the Ancien Regime and the Revolution.
Charity in the Middle Ages.
Second Period of French Charity: Last Half of the Sixteenth Century.
Third Period of French Charity, 1600-1789
The Revolution and Public Assistance Reorganization
PART II The Modern Organization of Assistance in France.
Voluntary Character of Public Assistance
Communal Character of Public Assistance
The Role of the Commune
The Role of the Department
The Role of the State
The “Representation of the Poor,” and the Relation of Public and Private Charity
Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) was Professor of Economics and Sociology at Wellesley College. Prof. Balch was noted for her exceptional breadth of knowledge, excellence in teaching, commitment to international peace but above all her social consciousness and strong sense of civic duty. Her research and political activism made notable contributions to movements for racial justice, women’s suffrage, labor conditions and the treatment of victims of war. Her enduring work was recognized by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.