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The origins of the welfare state : women, work, and the French Revolution / Lisa DiCaprio.

By: DiCaprio, Lisa.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2007Description: xiii, 259 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0252030214 (cloth : alk. paper); 9780252030215 (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799 -- Women | France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799 -- Social aspects | France -- Social conditions -- 18th century | Women -- France -- History -- 18th century | France -- Social policy -- 18th centuryDDC classification: 362.83/086/9420944 Other classification: 8,2 | QF 542 Review: "In May 1790, during the French Revolution, the National Assembly created spinning workshops (ateliers de filature) for thousands of unemployed women in Paris. These ateliers disclose new aspects of the process that transformed Old Regime charity into revolutionary welfare initiatives characterized by secularization, centralization, and entitlements based on citizenship. This is the first study to examine women and the welfare state in its formative period when modern concepts of human rights were elaborated." "In The Origins of the Welfare State, Lisa DiCaprio reveals how women working in the ateliers, municipal welfare officials, and the national government vied to define the meaning of revolutionary welfare throughout the Revolution. Presenting demands for improved wages and working conditions to a wide array of revolutionary officials, the women workers exercised their rights as "passive citizens" capaciously and shaped the meanings of work, welfare, and citizenship. Looking backward to the Old Regime and forward to the nineteenth century, this study explores the interventionist spirit that characterized liberalism in the late nineteenth century, and serves as a bridge to the history of entitlements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."--Jacket.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DC158.8 .D55 2007 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001950138

Includes bibliographical references (p. 209-249) and index.

"In May 1790, during the French Revolution, the National Assembly created spinning workshops (ateliers de filature) for thousands of unemployed women in Paris. These ateliers disclose new aspects of the process that transformed Old Regime charity into revolutionary welfare initiatives characterized by secularization, centralization, and entitlements based on citizenship. This is the first study to examine women and the welfare state in its formative period when modern concepts of human rights were elaborated." "In The Origins of the Welfare State, Lisa DiCaprio reveals how women working in the ateliers, municipal welfare officials, and the national government vied to define the meaning of revolutionary welfare throughout the Revolution. Presenting demands for improved wages and working conditions to a wide array of revolutionary officials, the women workers exercised their rights as "passive citizens" capaciously and shaped the meanings of work, welfare, and citizenship. Looking backward to the Old Regime and forward to the nineteenth century, this study explores the interventionist spirit that characterized liberalism in the late nineteenth century, and serves as a bridge to the history of entitlements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."--Jacket.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Despite its somewhat misleading title, DiCaprio's book offers a fascinating look at public works projects for women in 18th-century France. Old Regime charity was dominated by religious orders and focused on relieving need, rather than producing a usable end product. Utilitarian reformers criticized this approach; during the early revolution, they created centralized spinning workshops to ensure quality control and work discipline. Later, and especially during Year II, women workers in these ateliers de filature articulated demands for work as a fundamental right of citizenship and sympathized with the most radical faction of the period, the Hebertistes. After the Thermidorian Reaction, moderate politicians feared that the ateliers could serve as breeding grounds for discontent and dismantled most of the workshops, returning to the Old Regime pattern of providing poor women with thread to spin at home. In a brief epilogue, DiCaprio (visiting professor, Washington and Lee Univ.) discusses the later development of French welfare policy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her claims for a revolutionary precedent to post-WW II social policies seem a bit forced, but the story of the revolutionary filatures is interesting in its own right, whatever its subsequent legacy. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. A. Harvey New College of Florida

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>Lisa DiCaprio is a visiting assistant professor in the history department at Washington and Lee University. She is coeditor with Merry E. Wiesner of Lives and Voices: Sources in European Women's History. </p>

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