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Charity as Boundary Making: Social Stratification, Gender and the Family in the Italian States (Seventeenth-Nineteenth Centuries)

  • Sandra Cavallo

Abstract

The study of the various forms that charity and poor relief took in the Italian states during the early modern age has received much attention in the last 15 years, both from Italian historians and from Italianists abroad. There is therefore an extensive literature of case studies as well as a number of overviews and these make it possible to advance some hypotheses as to continuities and changes in policies towards the poor between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries and as to the traits which distinguish Italian welfare systems from those of other European countries.

Keywords

Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Italian State Early Modern Period Italian City 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Estimates of this income are given in D. Lombardi, Povertà maschile e povertà femminile. L’Ospedale dei Mendicanti nella Firenze dei Medici (Bologna 1988), p. 178, for Florence, andGoogle Scholar
  2. S. Cavallo, Charity and Power in Early Modem Italy. Benefactors and their Motives in Turin, 1541–1789 (Cambridge, 1995), p. 122, note 73, for Turin.Google Scholar
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    E.g. in Turin and in Bologna. Cavallo, Charity and Power, ch. 2; N. Terpstra, Lay Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance Bologna (Cambridge, 1995), pp. 201–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 10.
    In the remainder of this section my remarks refer to the case of Siena, Florence, Lucca, Bologna and Turin drawing on: S. K. Cohn, Jr., Death and Property in Siena 1205–1800: Strategies for the Afterlife (Baltimore, 1988); Lombardi, Povertà Maschile;Google Scholar
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    S. Cavallo ‘Conceptions of poverty and poor relief in Turin in the second half of the eighteenth century’, in S. J. Woolf (ed.), Domestic Strategies: Work and Family in France and Italy, 1600–1800 (Cambridge, 1991), p. 197, table 6.13.Google Scholar
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    A. Scotti, ‘Malati e strutture ospedaliere dall’età dei lumi all’Unità’, Storia d’Italia, Annali 7 (Turin, 1984).Google Scholar
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    M. Fatica, ‘La reclusione dei poveri a Roma durante il pontificato di Innocenzo XII (1692–1700)’, Ricerche per la storia religiosa di Roma, 3 (1979), pp. 189–90.Google Scholar
  20. 42.
    In Lombardy Case d’Industria sprang up in a number of towns from 1784 onwards; in Piedmont the Ritiro degli Oziosi e Vagabondi was founded in 1786; in Emilia workshop-institutions were set up from 1809 onwards under the name of Case d’Industria; in Tuscany the Napoleonic government set up Depots de Mendicité in 1808. E. Bressan, Povertà e assistenza in Lombardia nell’età Napoleonica (Milan, 1985); Cavallo, Charity and Power, pp. 236–41Google Scholar
  21. M. Marcolin, ‘The Casa d’Industria in Bologna during the Napoleonic period: public relief and subsistence strategies’, EUI working paper n.85/132 (Florence, 1985)Google Scholar
  22. M. Palazzi, ‘Donne povere tra lavoro, assistenza e sigurtà. Tessitrici e filatrici della Casa d’Industria e della Casa provinciale del Lavoro (Bologna XVIII secolo)’, in P. Nava (ed.), Operaie, serve, maestre, impiegate (Turin, 1992)Google Scholar
  23. S. J. Woolf, The Poor in Western Europe in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (London and New York, 1986), ch. 3.Google Scholar
  24. 43.
    S. Cavallo ‘Bambini abbandonati e bambini “in deposito” a Torino nel Settecento’, in Enfance Abandonnée et Societé en Europe, Collection de l’Ecole Française de Rome (Rome, 1991). Many other city councils provided free midwifery to poor wives at the moment of childbirth.Google Scholar
  25. See N. M. Filippini, ‘The church, the state and childbirth: the midwife in Italy during the eighteenth century’, in H. Marland (ed.), The Art of Midwifery. Early Modern Midwives in Europe (London, 1993); Cavallo, Charity and Power, p. 204. This service was often also provided by private maternity charities set up by groups of philanthropists.Google Scholar
  26. 47.
    Ibid., pp. 235–6; L. Guidi, L’Onore in pericolo. Carità e reclusione femminile nell’Ottocento Napoletano (Naples, 1991), p. 25.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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  • Sandra Cavallo

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