Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Old age, poverty in
(937 words)

Beginning in the late Middle Ages, the number of impoverished and potentially impoverished elderly individuals grew steadily, primarily as a result of social differentiation and the growth of the underclass. Now old age was accompanied with increasing frequency in popular perception by pejorative connotations (as a period of decline preceding death); it was thought of as a burden on the younger generation (Life stairs). Poverty among the elderly developed rapidly in this context, but its nuanced scientific study and assessment constantly came up against t…

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Bräuer, Helmut, “Old age, poverty in”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_016761>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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