Almshouses as Charitable Social Welfare Institutions for Ukrainian Population in the 19th Century
The purpose of the research is to study almshouses as God-pleasing institutions of social protection of the Ukrainian population in the 19th century based on informational and reference and church statistical sources.
The scientific novelty. The presented issue remains understudied in the modern multidisciplinary field of national humanitaristics and is relevant in the sense of studying growing social trends of honoring Christian charity, mercy, tolerant attitude towards marginalized persons and institutions of childhood, motherhood, widowhood, old age, begging, bastardization, etc.
Methodological and source tools of research. An intellectual product of interdisciplinary orientation with the introduction of the methodological principles of anthropological, quantitative, and comparative approaches, which are primarily used in historical demography.
Research results. Social welfare institutions were started as the result of the spread of Christian values among human communities. Almshouses were introduced in the 18th century according to civil law, but the functions of social maintenance of marginal elements of the Ukrainian population were mainly performed by monasteries. Charitable institutions of that type became widespread in the 19th century. The almshouse admitted those who had passports, among which the disabled, the elderly, the homeless, those without relatives, or those who needed special medical care. Dependents could be representatives of all social strata and religions. Private peasants had restrictions on addition. Almshouses were subordinate to welfare boards (‘Prikaz Obshchestvennogo Prizrenia’) or zemstvos. Appointed Principals were responsible for economic, financial, organizational, and medical areas of activity. Almshouses differed according to religion and existed separately or as part of complexes of God-pleasing institutions. Men’s and women’s parts of complexes were separated. Numerically, the masculine residents prevailed over the feminine. The majority were persons of working age from 15 to 64 years. The quantitative ratio in sex-age groups of residents depended on their social origin. Retired military personnel (soldiers and officers) predominated among the men, while among women – widows or wives of military men.
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