Book ID: CBB185165933

The Political and Social Dynamics of Poverty, Poor Relief and Health Care in Early-Modern Portugal (2016)


Abreu, Laurinda (Author)


Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 310 pp.
Language: English

By the end of the fifteenth century most European counties had witnessed a profound reformation of their poor relief and health care policies. As this book demonstrates, Portugal was among them and actively participated in such reforms. Providing the first English language monograph on this this topic, Laurinda Abreu examines the Portuguese experience and places it within the broader European context. She shows that, in line with much that was happening throughout the rest of Europe, Portugal had not only set up a systematic reform of the hospitals but had also developed new formal arrangements for charitable and welfare provision that responded to the changing socioeconomic framework, the nature of poverty and the concerns of political powers. The defining element of the Portuguese experience was the dominant role played by a new lay confraternity, the confraternity of the Misericórdia, created under the auspices of King D. Manuel I in 1498. By the time of the king's death in 1521 there were more than 70 Misericórdias in Portugal and its empire, and by 1640, more than 300. All of them were run according to a unified set of rules and principles with identical social objectives. Based upon a wealth of primary source documentations, this book reveals how the sixteenth-century Portuguese crown succeeded in implementing a national poor relief and health care structure, with the support of the Papacy and local elites, and funded principally though pious donations. This process strengthened the authority of the royal government at a time which coincided with the emergence of the early modern state. In so doing, the book establishes poor relief and public health alongside military, diplomatic and administrative authorities, as the pillars of centralization of royal power.

Reviewed By

Review Kristy Wilson Bowers (2018) Review of "The Political and Social Dynamics of Poverty, Poor Relief and Health Care in Early-Modern Portugal". Social History of Medicine (pp. 650-651). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Henderson, John
Borges, Augusto Moutinho
García Ferrandis, Xavier
Lucey, Donnacha Seán
Fiolhais, Carlos
Rodrigues, Isilda Teixeira
Medical History
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
History of Psychiatry
Manchester University Press
Yale University Press
Imprensa da Universidade
Boydell & Brewer
Temple University
Cambridge University Press
Health care
Hospitals and clinics
Health policy
Medicine and society
Medicine and government
Orta, Garcia da
Carr, John
Clinton, Bill
United States
Florence (Italy)
21st century
20th century, late
16th century
17th century
18th century
20th century, early
National Health Service (Great Britain)

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