Voluntarism in social welfare and urban government: The case of Hamburg, 1700-1799

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3 Scopus citations


This article focuses on the Free Imperial City of Hamburg in the eighteenth century. It analyzes how government structures and social welfare policies coped with a variety of social, economic, and political challenges in these years.The article argues that the traditional values of voluntarism in government were strained by these challenges and had to be rethought and reworked but were never jettisoned until much later, perhaps not until the middle of the nineteenth century. The article focuses on the structures of government and on various social welfare institutions, in particular, parish relief, almshouses, hospitals, and outdoor relief.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-331
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Urban History
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Civil society
  • Poverty and poor relief
  • Social welfare
  • Urban government
  • Voluntarism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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