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Hospital politics in seventeenth-century France: the crown, by Tim McHugh

By Tim McHugh

The 17th century witnessed profound reforms within the means French towns administered terrible aid and charitable well-being care. New hospitals have been outfitted to restrict the capable bodied and current hospitals sheltering the in poor health bad shrunk new scientific employees and shifted their concentration in the direction of providing extra scientific prone. while those strikes have frequently been considered as a coherent nation led coverage, contemporary scholarship has started to question this assumption, and pick-up on extra localised issues, and resistance to centrally imposed guidelines. This publication engages with those issues, to enquire the hyperlinks among charitable overall healthiness care, bad reduction, faith, nationwide politics and concrete social order in seventeenth-century France. In so doing, it revises our figuring out of the jobs performed in those matters by means of the crown and social elites, arguing that relevant government's social coverage was once conservative and mostly reactive to strain from neighborhood elites. It means that Louis XIV's coverage concerning the reform of terrible aid and the construction of normal Hospitals in every one city and town, as enshrined within the edict of 1662, used to be principally pushed by means of the spiritual matters of the kingdom's religious and the monetary fears of the Parisian elites that their urban hospitals have been overburdened. merely after the sunlight King's reign did principal executive start to take a proactive position in administering terrible reduction and wellbeing and fitness care, using city charitable associations to extra its personal political objectives. through reintegrating the social aspirations of city elites into the background of French negative aid, this publication exhibits how the foremost position they performed within the reform of hospitals, encouraged via a mixture of non secular, monetary and social motivations. It concludes that the kingdom can be a reluctant player in reform, until eventually careworn into motion via aiding elite teams pursuing their very own objectives.

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If the people were poor, then that fact should be perceived as the judgement of God on the country. This is why charitable drives for missions, new seminaries and aid for converted Protestants were so important to the Jesuits. A desire to see Catholicism triumphant in France underlay much of their call for greater efforts at charity. The second half of the seventeenth century saw an Augustinian challenge to the Molinist theology of the Jesuits. This alternative theology was named Jansenism by 49 For example, the benefactresses of the house for female orphans in Grenoble would demonstrate their piety by imitating Christ by washing the feet of the young girls in their care: See Norberg, 1985.

The ideas of the Counter-Reformation were strongly held by many in the church in France during the reign of Louis XIV. Everywhere they looked, the advocates of reform saw a poor country as they would define it. 51 It was no wonder that so many members of the kingdom could be subject to a sudden plunge into poverty. If the people were poor, then that fact should be perceived as the judgement of God on the country. This is why charitable drives for missions, new seminaries and aid for converted Protestants were so important to the Jesuits.

It was not truly important what caused poverty, but it was necessary to help alleviate their suffering. While such works were aimed at a noble audience, families from the urban elites emulated their social superiors. Wealth in the seventeenth century was not a end in itself. The socially ambitious urban elites eventually hoped that their families would rise to a position where they would pass into the nobility. They adopted the paternalist definition of nobility, using their wealth charitably in an urban context in order to ensure their descendants would be eased into the nobility by proving their worthiness.

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