Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Migration, Settlement and Belonging in Europe, 1500-1930s

Migration, Settlement and Belonging in Europe, 1500-1930s: Comparative Perspectives

Steven King
Anne Winter
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 326
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Migration, Settlement and Belonging in Europe, 1500-1930s
    Book Description:

    The issues around settlement, belonging, and poor relief have for too long been understood largely from the perspective of England and Wales. This volume offers a pan-European survey that encompasses Switzerland, Prussia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Britain. It explores how the conception of belonging changed over time and space from the 1500s onwards, how communities dealt with the welfare expectations of an increasingly mobile population that migrated both within and between states, the welfare rights that were attached to those who "belonged," and how ordinary people secured access to welfare resources. What emerged was a sophisticated European settlement system, which on the one hand structured itself to limit the claims of the poor, and yet on the other was peculiarly sensitive to their demands and negotiations.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-146-4
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction. Settlement and Belonging in Europe, 1500–1930s: Structures, Negotiations and Experiences
    (pp. 1-28)
    Joanna Innes, Steven King and Anne Winter

    The issues of who ‘belonged’ to a community, how belonging was claimed and maintained and how it was lost were key concerns of everyday life for Europeans in the period from the 1500s (when life-cycle migration began to intensify) to the 1900s (when national welfare states began to create definitive entitlements usually unrelated to migratory or residence status).¹ On the answer to the question ‘who belonged’ hinged matters of citizenship, identity, relative and absolute entitlement to welfare benefits and other communal resources, and the nature and locus of power in communities. While some commentators have treated ‘belonging’ and ‘settlement’ as...

  5. Chapter One Settlement and the Law in the Seventeenth Century
    (pp. 29-53)
    David Feldman

    In 1662 Parliament enacted a new law ‘for the better relief of the poor of this Kingdom’. This was the first time in six decades that poor law legislation reached the statute book. In 1598 and again in 1601 the structure of the Elizabethan poor law had been codified and consolidated. Parliament had then placed day to day responsibility for raising poor rates, relieving the impotent, and providing work for the able-bodied in the hands of parish officers. Yet neither in 1598 nor in 1601 did Parliament define what class of person each parish was obliged to relieve. The poor...

  6. Chapter Two Double Deterrence: Settlement and Practice in London’s West End, 1725–1824
    (pp. 54-80)
    Jeremy Boulton

    This chapter represents the first full length study of how the laws of settlement were applied in Georgian London. Such a study is now seriously overdue. Although historians are increasingly using London’s voluminous settlement material (mostly examinations and removal orders) to study such topics as the treatment of lunatics, vagrancy, bastardy, childcare, domestic service and family breakdown, it is rare for such studies to contextualize their source material within the wider welfare system(s) of eighteenth-century London.¹ More importantly, however, the effects of the Landau-Snell debate over the nature and reach of the eighteenthcentury settlement laws continues to cast a pall...

  7. Chapter Three Poor Relief, Settlement and Belonging in England, 1780s to 1840s
    (pp. 81-101)

    On 4 June 1818, the overseer of the poor for Thrapston in the English county of Northamptonshire received a letter from the pauper Jacob Curchin. He had written because although he was resident in the parish of Wisbech (Cambridgeshire, some 100 km away) his legal settlement was in Thrapston.¹ The letter ended with the observation:

    For Sur we Must have Relief and I appeals to the Gentlemen to consider my Case Trade is slow here and I cannot get Half of what we need and if the Gentlm will not Pay then I must send her [his wife] and the...

  8. Chapter Four Memories of Pauperism
    (pp. 102-126)
    Jane Humphries

    The English and Welsh poor law has had a mixed reception among historians.¹ Traditional perspectives emphasized its Tudor origins in social control and pro-agrarian state policy and its reformulation in 1834 to fit an emergent industrial economy with its need for labour mobility and work incentives.² Such straightforwaradly functionalist interpretations with their emphasis on a structural break in 1834 have fallen out of fashion. Rather, recent historians have demonstrated the long roots of the ideas and policies broached in the Poor Law Report and the many ways in which local authorities, overwhelmed by rising expenditures, had hardened their position on...

  9. Chapter Five Belonging, Settlement and the New Poor Law in England and Wales 1870s–1900s
    (pp. 127-152)
    Elizabeth Hurren

    In the 1830s, a London barrister, George Benson Coode, was appointed assistant poor law commissioner. He was asked by Edwin Chadwick to write the legal framework of the Poor Law Amendment Act (1834).¹ Coode had a reputation for drafting legislation in plain language, something that was considered vital if the New Poor Law was to be administered more uniformly in England and Wales. Coode later published a new legal handbook,² which subsequently became a core text for poor law of-ficials.³ He took a great deal of interest in settlement laws, which seemed to him archaic, a block on mobility of...

  10. Chapter Six Citizens But Not Belonging: Migrants’ Difficulties in Obtaining Entitlement to Relief in Switzerland from the 1550s to the Early Twentieth Century
    (pp. 153-172)
    Anne-Lise Head-König

    The question of migrants’ entitlement to poor relief has been a muchdisputed topic in Swiss history up to the early twentieth century, a re-flection of the fact that a high degree of communal autonomy prevented agreement on this matter at cantonal and national levels. From about 1550 to the early twentieth century, to be entitled to poor relief it was necessary to possess ‘full’ citizenship, which in turn combined three levels of belonging: national, cantonal and local. Local citizenship – thedroit de bourgeoisie/Bürgerrecht– was the most important: only a commune where one held local citizenship could issue a ‘certificate of...

  11. Chapter Seven Overrun by Hungry Hordes? Migration and Poor Relief in the Netherlands, Sixteenth to Twentieth Centuries
    (pp. 173-203)
    Marco H. D. van Leeuwen

    Migrants’ entitlement to poor relief is a much neglected theme in Dutch history in general and in that of early modern poor relief in particular. Some of what follows will therefore be speculative. I will discuss the notion of swarms of impoverished migrants besieging the wealthy towns of the Dutch Republic, the so-called geographical free-rider thesis. The persuasive logic of that thesis predicts the collapse of urban welfare under the weight of the claims of pauper migrants. Yet that did not happen. Dutch welfare remained a marvel to the world until the end of the eighteenth century, coming perilously close...

  12. Chapter Eight Agrarian Change, Labour Organization and Welfare Entitlements in the North-Sea Area, c. 1650–1800
    (pp. 204-227)
    Thijs Lambrecht

    In May 1772 the sexton of the village of Reningelst recorded in his diary that parishes throughout the coastal area of the Austrian Netherlands were ordering immigrants to return to their parishes of birth. In some cases pauper families were loaded on a cart and transported back collectively. The author noted that these pauper evictions were illegal because they also targeted migrants who had not applied for poor relief. In other words, able-bodied labourers and their households were also compelled to leave.¹ The expulsion of agricultural labourers and their families characterizes an interesting episode in the history of poor relief...

  13. Chapter Nine Settlement Law and Rural-Urban Relief Transfers in Nineteenth-Century Belgium: A Case Study on Migrants’ Access to Relief in Antwerp
    (pp. 228-249)
    Anne Winter

    In most European regions, poor relief remained a largely local affair throughout the transition from preindustrial to industrial society: organized and financed by local bodies, poor relief was in principle intended only for the local poor. The question of how to deal with migrants and their relief needs, already a matter of considerable concern under the ancien régime, became a particularly pressing issue for urban authorities in the nineteenth century, when an unprecedented concentration of population and employment in towns took shape. As urban immigration levels proliferated, so did the challenges of urban relief organization, which were exacerbated by the...

  14. Chapter Ten Trajectories of German Settlement Regulations: The Prussian Rhine Province, 1815–1914
    (pp. 250-268)
    Andreas Gestrich

    The German territories on the West Bank of the Rhine provide an interesting example for the study of the history of poor relief, and particularly the problem of settlement, in Germany. For centuries most of these areas had belonged to the Catholic prince-bishoprics of Trier and Cologne. In 1801, however, they were annexed by revolutionary France and divided up between four newly created French departments. As part of the French Republic they not only introduced the Napoleonic Code Civil as their common law code, but also France’s reforms of its system of poor relief which broke radically with traditions of...

  15. Afterword. National Citizenship and Migrants’ Social Rights in Twentieth-Century Europe
    (pp. 269-280)
    Paul-André Rosental

    In their contributions to this volume, Andreas Gestrich and Anne-Lise Head-König have pointed to nineteenth- and twentieth-century settlement systems and citizenship criteria which made an explicit distinction between the status of those from individual Swiss cantons or Prussian states and ‘foreigners’ from the same country. Yet, and as is clear from the other contributions to the volume, for many settlement systems the most acute problem was what to do with ‘foreigners’ from outside the state borders. In England this ‘foreign’ status extended to the Scots and the Irish, but across Europe the problem was chronic and, when war, disease, famine...

  16. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 281-284)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 285-308)
  18. Index
    (pp. 309-317)