The Revolution's Role in Abandoned Children's Care: The
state took over the care for the children because private charity
could no longer provide enough due in part to a lack of donations.
The revolution dealt the final blow however to the religious and
private charity. Through nationalization of the lands and wealth
of the church and clergy, "the revolution cut the economic
underpinnings of the system of charity in general and of the treatment
of abandoned children in particular" (Fuchs 17). However, at
the same time, the revolution declared the right of all needy persons
to public charity and assistance. In 1790, the Committee on Mondicity
of the Convention studied the case of abandoned children. It decided
that the conditions were deplorable, and declared it the duty of
the state to care for them. By this, they meant that the state was
to make them useful citizens by training them for positions in military,
agriculture, and in the colonies (Fuchs 17). Through this decree,
the revolutionaries tried to stamp out the prejudice, but it only
occurred on paper.
Reasons for Giving Care: Often state officials believed
that they should try to curtail child abandonment; however, at the
same time, they felt that it was their duty to care for them. In
the last fourth of the century, social reforms no longer tried to
curtail child abandonment. They felt that the state, "by means
of social welfare programs, could do a better job of creating ideal
working-class citizens than biological parents" (Fuchs xiii).
Social welfare for the children
was one means for the state to protect and control the underclass
of the population.
Government Laws: The decree of October 17, 1801 legally
placed the financial responsibility for the first time on the budget
The policy: Fashioned and refashioned to create a docile,
economically useful and politically neutral, family-oriented underclass
out of the of the segment of the population that the officials believed
would otherwise an economic drain and potentially dangerous criminals
or political threats (Fuchs xii-xiii).