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Dbq Of Some Sort I Did A While Back

955 words - 4 pages

Isaac LeeMr. SimmonsAP Euro8/24/14DBQWithin 15th and 17th century Europe, responses as of what to make of the poor varied throughout the timeframe, though the attitude towards the poor remained two sided: whether they are deserving or undeserving of charity. At the time, institutionalization of the mercantilist policy left nearly half of Europe's population on their hands and knees, thus absolving the poor became quite a dilemma that questioned both religion and morals. The Europeans that found the poor to be deserving of charity sought both spiritual and societal progress through commensalism. Other Europeans decreed that the poor is undeserving of charity, as they do not contribute anything themselves. Over the course of the 15th to the 17th centuries, the responses to the poor transitioned from an emphasis on charity, to corporal punishment, to finally ending with apathy towards poverty overall.The clergy and much of the humanists, the minority of the population, are often found practicing the giving of alms emphasizing Christian virtues such as those that regard the poor as deserving of charity and assistance. The motif that got many to give charity to the poor is their entitlement to the Bible, as following what's written made them whole. A Catholic priest stated in a sermon that money given to the poor will be worth more in the afterlife (doc. 1). The Spanish humanist, Juan Luis Vives, wrote in his book "On Assistance to the Poor", that people have a duty of charity to help those in need (doc. 3). Having tutored monarchs such as Mary Tudor during the early peasant revolts in Europe, Vives proposed solutions to urban poverty, attempting to reform failing social legislature. Vincent de Paul, another Catholic priest, stated that one must seek to help the poor in every way possible in order to transition from bishop to saint (doc. 10). Rembrandt van Rijn depicted a smiling old man with an injured arm giving charity to an impoverished family in his etching, "Beggars Receiving Alms at the Door of a House" (doc. 9). Rembrandt is commonly referred by art historians as having empathy for humanity, he believed that charity towards the poor not only benefited the beggar but the alms giver and society over all as well. The figures of the clergy, humanism, and art agree that the poor deserve the kindness of their charities to benefit society.The upper classes and the monarchs have a rather bitter approach. They stereotyped the poor as being idle, thus finding them undeserving of charity and emphasize corporal punishment towards the poor to relieve them of their sloth. Emperor Charles V implies a "He who does not work, neither shall he eat" attitude by noting that alms to the poor encourages idleness and lead to indecent lifestyle decisions (doc. 4). Having dealt with the Frisian peasant rebellion,...

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