By Thomas McStay Adams

Within the mid-eighteenth century in France, the royal experts introduced a brand new crusade to brush beggars from the streets, pinning their hopes at the production of a uniform royal community of lock-ups during which someone came across begging can be detained. during this research, Adams probes the accomplishments and the issues of those so-called dépôts de mendicité, as visible by means of critics of the test (including discovered judges and influential spokesmen of the provincial Estates) and as obvious by means of these accountable for its good fortune: the provincial intendants, the royal engineers, the medical professionals, the inspectors, the contractors, and diverse givers of recommendation. He indicates how the debate--both inner and external--over the operation of the dépôts contributed to the highbrow ferment of the Enlightenment and the Revolution. The ensuing internet of reasoning and empirical facts gave aid to Montesquieu's precept that the country owes each of its voters "a safe subsistence, appropriate meals and garments, and a way of existence that isn't opposite to reliable health."

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