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Early Modern Orphanages between Civic Pride and Social Discipline: Francke’s Use of Dutch Models

By J.W. Spaans


The Orphanage of Halle was an institution that had no match in early modern Europe. It was by no means an ordinary orphanage, but rather a powerhouse of the pietist movement. Missions both on the Continent and abroad were supported by the resources generated by the very modern mass-propaganda Francke launched around the successes of his charitable foundation, by its printing press and its patent-medicine production. Through its Bible institute and its schools the orphanage was a machine for the world-wide propagation of the distinct faith of the German pietists, and, as a modern British scholar has argued, also for the support of Prussian international policies, aimed at the weakening of the Catholic powers in Central Europe. Tradition has it that Francke took his inspiration for the Halle Orphanage from the Dutch Republic. This paper will try to answer the question which elements in the Dutch welfare system, especially in its orphanages, particularly appealed to Francke, and how he applied them in his own foundations ..

Topics: Godgeleerdheid
Publisher: Franckesche Stiftungen
Year: 2003
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