Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Unwanted ChildThe Fate of Foundlings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joel F. Harrington

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226317274

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226317298.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 12 June 2021

The Beleaguered Magistrate

The Beleaguered Magistrate

Chapter:
(p.127) Three The Beleaguered Magistrate
Source:
The Unwanted Child
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226317298.003.0004

This chapter analyzes the story of city councilor and Nuremberg Findel administrator Albrecht Pö, who orchestrated governmental responses to a variety of related problems. The devastating war and plague years of 1632–39 constituted the worst and most sustained economic, demographic, and political crisis in Nuremberg's nine-hundred-year history. Pömer's challenge as Findel administrator was formidable, but it was extraordinary only in terms of the number of children affected and the creative coping methods employed. Fueled by a merger of traditional patrician sense of duty with Lutheran and humanist visions of the just civic order, ambitious reformers such as Pömer attempted to eliminate child begging, provide for the education and placement of citizens' children, and effectively deter child abandonment and infanticide through rigorous law enforcement and sometimes harsh punishment. Goals of this magnitude were virtually unprecedented among European states and in many ways anticipated the aspirations and methods of much later nation-states. Their methods, meanwhile, remained fairly conservative, particularly in their strong preference for informal child circulation, with institutional care for unwanted children a last resort. The result was a mixed success. To grasp the significance of this typically early modern mixture of innovative social reforms and traditional bureaucratic methods, the nature of all magisterial responsibility and action is first discussed.

Keywords:   city councilor, Nuremberg Findel, plague, war, civic order, child welfare, law enforcement, informal child circulation

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.