Kick-off for the welfare state: how the problem of poverty was tackled at the root in the Netherlands 200 years ago | free press

At the beginning of the 19th century, in the land of tulips, which at the time also included what is now Belgium, there were so many people living on the brink of subsistence that help seemed urgently needed. The idea to solve this problem sounds as simple as it is pragmatic: people should be given work, and “settlements of mercy” came into being.

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