© 2000

The Logic of Charity

Amsterdam, 1800–1850


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Marco H. D. van Leeuwen
    Pages 1-35
  3. Marco H. D. van Leeuwen
    Pages 36-53
  4. Marco H. D. van Leeuwen
    Pages 54-98
  5. Marco H. D. van Leeuwen
    Pages 99-143
  6. Marco H. D. van Leeuwen
    Pages 144-184
  7. Marco H. D. van Leeuwen
    Pages 185-191
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 192-242

About this book


This study analyses poor relief in preindustrial Europe from 1800 to 1850, as a survival strategy of the poor and as a control strategy of the elites. It deals with poverty and the problems of the poor, but also with wealth and the concerns of the elites and of the middle classes. A simple model of poor relief is presented, based on insights derived from history, sociology and welfare economics. It is tested against the historical records of Amsterdam from 1800 to 1850. The study brings out some of the perennial problems of social policy, past and present, as well as some aspects of Old Regime charity, now vanished.


Europe history social policy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Netherlands Economic History ArchivesAmsterdamThe Netherlands

About the authors

MARCO H. D. VAN LEEUWEN'S chosen field is the study of social inequality in Europe from 1500 to the present. His publications include papers on poor relief (Journal of Interdisciplinary History and Social History), on trade-union welfare (Economic History Review) and on social mobility (Journal of Social History and Continuity and Change).

Bibliographic information


' elegant model for explaining how poor relief worked well beyond the boundaries of Amsterdam.' - Journal of Interdisciplinary History

'...van Leeuwen opens an interesting insight into the world of poverty and richness in Amsterdam in the first half of the nineteenth century.' - American Historical Review