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Ap Euro the Poor Dbq

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Between near the fifteenth century and the 1700's there was a mass amount of views of the poor on the west side of Europe. This includes the having the minimum of food and shelter, religious critiques, economic dislocation, and wars; all of which had their own way of looking at things. More than half of Europe's population lived at a competence level, having the minimum of food and shelter to hold onto life. However, to make matters worse; eighty percent of the population of Europe faced possible starvation in times of famine, war, and economic dislocation.

During this time period, many people from priests to noblemen encouraged being charitable and benefiting the poor. A Catholic priest during one of his sermons in the fifteenth century said that helping the poor in good health would benefit them in the afterlife. (Doc 1) However, the priest enlightens his congregation that those of whom wait to donate money in their will telling them that giving someone something that they can not keep is the gift with the greatest value. This priest speaking to his people is interpreting the biblical source of alms giving to helping the sick and the poor.

Emperor Charles V mentions alms giving to the poor and the sick. This Holy Roman Emperor is not only being charitable for his people but for the sake to sustain God's will. (Doc 4) Vincent de Paul, a Catholic priest speaking to the members of his order whom help the poor in the mid seventeenth century in France. He mentions that alms-giving enables bishops to become saints. (Doc 10)

The town council in France in 1482 speak of caring for the poor, the people who beg and shriek for help throughout the night. (Doc 2) The town council put together a barn/home for these people to stay throughout night; to keep them warm and safe. However, the town councils intentions may not have been as whole-hearted as they seemed. There is the possible chance that they had put together this barn to keep the poor away from the public and to keep the quiet flowing throughout the town for their own benefit. However, in another part of France, the town council of Rouen in 1542 actually helped the poor. They offered them jobs and those who were not able to work were called idlers. The council states that idlers should not be considered as poor however they should be expelled from the city. They come to a conclusion saying that doing so would weaken the military. (Doc 5)

Not all Europeans were the same. Some were much more sympathetic than others. Some believed that the poor acted in such ways for attention, and began to question them. Others believed that they were truly poor and they took what they deserved; death or life. William Turner an English doctor in 1555 in London, England writes in his New Booke of Spiritual Physick that the poor took what they felt they deserved. They would rather not be healed for God's sake but to take what they deserved from life. They would



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