Abstract

The orphanages of eighteenth-century Seville accommodated more boys than girls. This article explores reasons for the discrepancy, arguing that charity dowries were an alternative to institutionalization for young females. Findings are based on analysis of charitable organizations (both orphanages and dowry funds) and contemporary discussions of charity reform, particularly debates over a proposed poorhouse. Beyond explaining the gender disparity at Seville's orphanages, this study challenges common views of gender, confinement, children, and poor relief in Catholic, Mediterranean Europe at the end of the old regime. It also highlights the important role of local players in implementing "enlightened" social welfare reforms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 307-335
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-19
Open Access
No
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