Pauperismo e politiche assistenziali in età moderna

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Pauperism and welfare policies in the modern age

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


During the Middle ages, there was a strong ideal that poverty was a positive state. Being poor on earth was considered better than having riches. Poverty was accepted as part of the providential order, in which the rich and the poor were complementary, each supporting the other. The benevolent almsgivers needed the prayers of the poor in return for their acts of charity. Beginning from XV Century, due to the rise in population and other factors, the number of the poor grew enormously, so the general attitude towards poverty tended to change: people began to consider vagabonds as a threat to law and order. Moreover, the old welfare institutions were no longer capable of adequately assisting the rapidly growing class of indigent. From the 1520s onward, both Catholic and Protestant cities in western Europe adopted poor relief laws on broadly similar lines, seeking to centralize or coordinate the dispensation of charity, to suppress or control begging, and to provide work for everyone capable of doing it
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Pauperism and welfare policies in the modern age
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationMisericordia e perdono. Termini, concetti, luoghi, tempi
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • assistenza, pauperismo, età mderna
  • welfare policies, poverty, early modern age


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