Views on Peasants The period between 1450 and 1700 in Europe is around the same time as the Reformation. The Reformation is the time period in between The Renaissance and the Constitutional Era. This time period is characterized by change and uncertainty in Europe in the areas of religion, power for the people, art and many others. The attitudes towards the poor in the middle ages were that they were either very sick and needed help, that they were conning the more fortunate and were just lazy, and that they were annoying and needed to be dealt with so that they would stop bugging everyone.
Rembrandt’s Beggars Receiving Alms at the Door of a House literally illustrates how he views the beggars as poor, sick people who need the middle or…show more content… He also says in the imperial decree that they will abandon their trade or occupation to become beggars because it is the easier life, he sounds scared that he will lose an economy to, what he sees as, the growing epidemic of being an idle peasant who begs for money to live (Doc 2). Emperor Charles V who is an emperor would say that beggars are evil and lazy because he doesn’t want to lose taxes and a successful country over the growing number of peasants he is beginning to see. Jean Maillefer, a wealthy merchant, said in a letter to his children that those who are accustomed to the poor life with no worries or rents or taxes, cannot leave the life because it is too easy and good for them. He, who is a wealthy merchant with many worries and cares in the world, would say that the life of a peasant is easy because he believes that his life is very busy and difficult and he even might be a bit jealous of them (Doc 7). The peasantry were looked at as lazy and idle because indeed some of them were, and they could get away with it because people couldn’t tell the difference between the poor who were actually unable to work and the vagabonds who chose not…show more content… This shows how they thought of the peasantry as less than human and as a problem they could eliminiate completely by rounding them up and putting them in a barn just like they would do with the animals (Doc 1). A certain history learning site states that, “For all peasants, life was ‘nasty, brutish and short.’” This could definitely be backed up by the information that the peasants were treated like animals by everyone who were above them or believed they were filth. Life for peasants was also short and brutish because they were often sick because of lack of food and they had to do hard things to stay alive. William Turner, who was a doctor, wrote in the New Booke of Spiritual Physick that sick beggars came to him and asked for alms and when he said he would not give them alms, but he would heal them that they left and that they didn’t want to be cured. Because of this writing it can be assumed that William saw poor people as an annoyance and a burden on the people who actually work. William Turner who was a medical doctor would say that people want to be sick peasants because he offered one group help and they declined. He felt used and like they did not want help from him to get better (Doc 6). The peasants were looked at like they were a problem