The Poor During 1450s Through 1700s

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Donna Kalap Mr. Foley AP Euro 19 November 2012 DOCUMENT BASED QUESTIONS “The Poor During 1450s Through 1700” 15th century Europe and onward has been plagued by the political turmoil which took full effect on these considered the scum’s of earth… “the poor”. Due to political, economical, social, and religious changes, the peasants were criticized, pushed around, look down upon, and were pitied by many including nobles, religious officials, and the hierarchies. Over the centuries, social statuses, political actions as well as religious actions that have had negative and positive responses toward the less fortunate including their own view. Social differences played a keen role since those who held high positions, negatively criticized those below them. Meetings involving town councils analyzed the poor as those “unwilling to work” as well as being “harmful to the public good” and not to mention their actions to “expel the poor from the city” (Doc.5). France’s Cardinal Richelieu added to that by stating that they have turned to begging and stealing from the sick (Doc. 8). Due to their crimes, this lead society to alienate them. Netherland’s Emperor Charles V stated, “If begging for alms is permitted to everyone indiscriminately, many errors and abuse will result for they will fall into idleness, which is the beginning of all evil” (Doc.4). Charles V made the point in which it lead the Netherlands to become a welfare state, it could greatly influence the economy in which individuals would take advantage of the system and not do their job. Although the poor was looked down upon by many there were positive efforts done to help them thanks to nobles and others including religious priests, one who stated that the poor needs to be looked after and taken care of and those who help them will have direct entrance into heaven for their good deeds (Doc. 1). During a time in which
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