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Cultures of Charity Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy

ISBN-10: 0674067096

ISBN-13: 9780674067097

Edition: 2013

Authors: Nicholas Terpstra

List price: $54.00
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Description:

Renaissance Italians pioneered radical changes in ways of helping the poor, including orphanages, workhouses, pawnshops, and women’s shelters. Nicholas Terpstra shows that gender was the key factor driving innovation. Most of the recipients of charity were women. The most creative new plans focused on features of women’s poverty like illegitimate births, hunger, unemployment, and domestic violence. Signal features of the reforms, from forced labor to new instruments of saving and lending, were devised specifically to help young women get a start in life.Cultures of Charity is the first book to see women’s poverty as the key factor driving changes to poor relief. These changes generated intense political debates as proponents of republican democracy challenged more elitist and authoritarian forms of government emerging at the time. Should taxes fund poor relief? Could forced labor help build local industry? Focusing on Bologna, Terpstra looks at how these fights around politics and gender generated pioneering forms of poor relief, including early examples of maternity benefits, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and credit union savings plans.
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Book details

List price: $54.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 2/15/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 380
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.606
Language: English

List of Figures and Tables
Introduction
Showing the Poor a Good Time: Gender, Class, and Charitable Cultures
Two Cultures of Charity
"Good Mothers of the Family"
Worthy Poor, Worthy Rich: Women's Poverty and Charitable Institutions
The Turning Wheel: Charitable Institutions and Life Cycle Poverty
The Critical Decade
Nights and Days at the Opera
Tightening Control: The Narrowing Politics of Charity
Making It Work
People versus Patricians: Civil Society and Controlling Charity
Meeting the Bottom Line: Alms, Taxes, Work, and Legacies
Begging for Beggars: Keeping the Opera Pia dei Poveri Mendicanti Afloat
Taxation by Other Means
Making a Workhouse
Deeper in Debt and Richer all the Time: Building a Legacy
The Wheel Keeps Turning: Moving Beyond the Opera
Enclosing the Circle: Shelters and the Reform of Poor Women
Credit Where Credit Was Due: Investing in Marriage
Beyond Charity: Mutual Assistance and the Working Poor
Baroque Piety and the Qualit� of Mercy
Bringing Discipline to Practical Charity
The Aesthetics of Poverty and the Qualit� of Mercy
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index