CHARITIES. The public and private in .titutions of society win se ohiCel le; tilt' relief cf those suffering from poverty, sickness, and all terms of human disease. provided such relief is without proceeds solely from the motive of human sympathy.
In ancient tini•s few such institutions existed. The unfortunate individual who was unable to care tor himself had to look to the immediate circle of his nearest of kin, or, more frequently, as allowed to perish, or actually put to death because be was regarded as a burden by the com munity Nvhiell had to struggle for existence with out being able to accumulate any social surplus of wealth. This is peculiarly the case in a no madic society. The historical growth of the spirit of charity is briefly and admirably describ ed in I/1story of Europrait The first efforts at inst it ut hula I relief were those of the early Christian Church. They were car ried out in response to the teaching of the ('lurch that it is more blessed to give than to receive: that' there is merit in the very act of giving. and that the future welfare of the giver is in a measure dependent on his generosity. Stud' a doctrine gave little thought to the ef fect of the gift on the recipient, or, indeed, to the welfare of the recipient after the gift was (awe bestowed, Naturally a reckless system of charity developed. which in some cases had to lie suppressed, and in other cases where the Church, espeeially in Northern Europe during the Ref ormation period. lost most of its property and was unable to continue the support of large numbers of undeserving poor. something, had to be done as a substitute by public authorities.
In this way a system of public charity grew up in England, though in the beginning it was a part of the criminal law. providing not meas ures of relief, but regulations and institutions for the repression of 'vagabonds' and 'sturdy beg gars.' The earliest and most popular really chari table institutions were hospitals. Private char ities, supported entirely by voluntary contribu tions. had their beginning, usually, in institutions for the relief of foundlings and abandoned chil dren. Ity the end of the Eighteenth Century in Europe many such institutions existed, and the public almshouse lir workhouse. supported from public funds, had been established in most coun tries especially for the relief of the aged poor. At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century a great movement for the reform and extension of these institutions began. In America the almshouse was then practically the only puldic institution provided for the needy and helpless: although private societies for the relief of peculiar kinds of distress soon began to multiply.
.k history of the philanthropy and charities pf Nineteenth Centnrv, some volumes of which have already was prepared for the In ternational Exposition in 1900, and be,bn sidled as follows, the classitieat ion being a fairly einnprehensive one of modern charities: (1) Institutional care of destitute adults: (2) De fectiVes. insane. feeble-minded, epileptic; (3)
lie treatment of criminals: ( ) llospitak. usaries, nursing; (5) Destitute, neglected awl di liniment children: (tit Care and relief of nerdy families; (7) Supervisory and educational move merits: (S) l'reventive and coIIst1'neti•• phi lanth•opy. The public authorities have, ill most modern countries. assumed responsibility for 1, 2, and 3: 4 and 5 are divided between public and private agencies; 7, and S are still largely in private hands.
The line cannot be clearly drawn between pub lic and private charities. Public charities are those supported entirely, or in part. from funds raised by taxation, while private charities are those supported by voluntary contributions, ad ministered by societies especially organized for the purpose. Private charitable societies are fre quently placed under some public supervision. A general principle giving the sphere of activity of public and private charities has been stated as follows: Public charities should provide for those well-defined and more or less permanent needs of the community for the relief of whiell experience has been sufficient to enable us to formulate very definite rules and regulations which eau he carried out more or less mechani cally by public officials who must interpret laws more often literally than in the spirit in which they were framed. while private charities should deal with those forms of relief still in the ex perimental stage, with a view of demonstrating what can be done by the puldie authorities on a larger scale.
Private philanthropy centres about the home and the family. It views the home as the ini iiiirtant element which must be proteeted and preserved. l'uldie charity has followed private initiative, gradually taking up those institutions shown to he necessary. To protect the bionic, the tenements are brought under regulation. (See Hot :INC PROBLEM.) To enable the bread-winner to support the family. dangerous employments are regulated. (See FACTORY INSPEerION.) Sana toria are built for consumptives. C'hildren are properIV eared for. (See DEPENDENT CHILDREN; JUVENILE OFFENDERS: ('RUELTN"ro CHILDREN, PREVENTION OF.) hound ding and chil dren's aid societies rescue the abandoned. It is smight to get at the causes of distress and to remove them rather than to minimize results of had conditions, (See CHARITY I lItttANIZATION SOCIETY: SOCIAL SETTLEMENTS.) Visiting nurses attend the sick poor. and diet kitchens furnish suitable food. Plat-grounds are established for the children. Illierever a need is manifest. some attempt, is made to sup ply it, Charity is becoming less sentimental and more methodical and scientific. Its admin istrators, are trained experts. All civilized na tions are pursuing similar courses. and while many problems are not yet solved. great 'wog is being made. See, also, POOR LAWS; SO v. neuron CLASSES.