Analyze Attitudes and Responses Toward the Poor in Europe in Between 1450 and 1700.

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During the mid 15th century to the early 18th century almost half of Europe’s total population could be considered poor and destitute. The attitudes of the clergy and the attitudes of the socially elite toward these people varied from pity to disgust, and their proposed solution to these problems differed. Some suggested helping all of the poor by giving them alms, some warned others to be careful of whom the money was given to and some people believed that being poor was a voluntary decision and if they wanted to get out of that situation, they do so without the help of others. In particular the clergy supported alms giving, government officials and the nobility advocated controlled giving, and some of the middle class were suspicious…show more content…
(d-11) He notes that the poor often talk about how accustomed they were to that lifestyle in that they can be independent and sleep where wherever they want because they have no worries. This view of the poor can be debated because during the mid-1500s, a peasant revolt occurred and was violently suppressed when Martin Luther expressed his distain for the stupid peasants and their misinterpretation of his teachings. In 1625, cardinal Richelieu suggested that people should give discerningly to the poor because the vagabonds were taking advantage of the situation and were being helped out by the kindhearted. (d-8) As time progressed new ideas came into society. Instead of giving freely to the poor, they should be made to work for their money, as Emperor Charles V expressed in his imperial decree for Netherlands. (d-4) “Experience shows that begging for alms . . . errors and abused will result . . .” therefore, he proposed that only the sick and those unable to work should receive aid. An English doctor noted that beggars, who came to his house, expressed a desire to live a sick but easy life rather than to get well and have to work hard to earn a

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