Containing the Poor: The Mexico City Poor House, 1774-1871 [NOOK Book]

Overview

In 1774 Mexico City leaders created the Mexico City Poor House—the centerpiece of a bold experiment intended to eliminate poverty and impose a new work ethic on former beggars by establishing a forcible internment policy for some and putting others to work. In Containing the Poor Silvia Marina Arrom tells the saga of this ill-fated plan, showing how the asylum functioned primarily to educate white orphans instead of suppressing mendicancy and exerting control over the ...
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Containing the Poor: The Mexico City Poor House, 1774-1871

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Overview

In 1774 Mexico City leaders created the Mexico City Poor House—the centerpiece of a bold experiment intended to eliminate poverty and impose a new work ethic on former beggars by establishing a forcible internment policy for some and putting others to work. In Containing the Poor Silvia Marina Arrom tells the saga of this ill-fated plan, showing how the asylum functioned primarily to educate white orphans instead of suppressing mendicancy and exerting control over the multiracial community for whom it was designed.
For a nation that had traditionally regarded the needy as having the undisputed right to receive alms and whose affluent citizens felt duty-bound to dispense them, the experiment was doomed from the start, explains Arrom. She uses deep archival research to reveal that—much to policymakers’ dismay—the Poor House became an orphanage largely because the government had underestimated the embeddedness of this moral economy of begging. While tracing the course of an eventful century that also saw colonialism give way to republicanism in Mexico, Arrom links the Poor House’s transformation with other societal factors as well, such as Mexican women’s increasing impact on social welfare policies.
With poverty, begging, and homelessness still rampant in much of Latin America today, this study of changing approaches to social welfare will be particularly valuable to student and scholars of Mexican and Latin American society and history, as well as those engaged in the study of social and welfare policy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Containing the Poor focuses on a vitally important, timely topic. A monumental piece of investigation into a myriad of sources and a discerning, perceptive model for studies on the dispensing of charity for any Latin American country, it is social history at its best.”—John Jay TePaske, coauthor of The Royal Treasuries of the Spanish Empire in America

“This is a major exploration of welfare policy in Mexico that has the extra virtue of crossing the colonial/national divide. The research is impeccable: deep, careful, convincing.”—Eric Van Young, author of The Other Rebellion: Popular Violence and Ideology in the Mexican Independence Struggle, 1810–1821

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822396420
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,174,241
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Silvia Marina Arrom holds the Jane’s Chair of Latin American Studies at Brandeis University. She is the author of several books, including The Women of Mexico City, 1790–1857.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations, Figures, and Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Social Control School and Its Critics 1
1 The Problem of Beggars and Vagrants, 1774-1871 11
2 The Foundation of the Poor House 43
3 The Experiment in Practice, 1774-1805 76
4 Reform of the Poor House, 1806-1811 120
5 Independence and Decline, 1811-1823 158
6 Republican Difficulties, 1824-1855 177
7 La Reforma, Reorganization, and Crisis, 1856-1863 206
8 Recovery during the Second Empire, 1863-1867 228
9 The Liberals Return, 1867-1871 256
Conclusion 278
Appendixes 289
Sources of Illustrations 299
Notes 301
Glossary 361
Bibliography 365
Index 385
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