In the late nineteenth century there began to be an increasing sense that philanthropy had failed. In part this was because of the emergence of a rival, altruism; declaring a religion of humanity, altruism claimed that, shorn of Christianity, it represented a purer form of love of humanity than philanthropy. The bigger challenge, however, came from those within the philanthropic world who did not disguise their feeling that what they called ‘the machinery of philanthropy’ was often doing as much harm as good. Toynbee Hall became the centre of a ‘new philanthropy’ in which the call was not for money but for yourselves. Socialists were wary even of this and called for an increasing role for the state, something that began to be achieved in the Liberal reforms of the early twentieth century. Another possibility that was aired was that millionaire philanthropists could help solve social problems. They were in fact rare on the ground. Bernard Shaw offered them some barbed advice.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750
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This chapter examines the final stages of the campaigns for and against voting for marriage equality in the forthcoming referendum in May 2015. This includes an examination of the Catholic Church’s stance and their actions in the weeks before the referendum.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland

This chapter draws primarily on periodical literature to show the meanings attached to philanthropy in the second half of the eighteenth century. Philanthropy was a feeling of love for humanity that brought pleasure, even rapture, to those who experienced it, all the more so as it was envisaged as universal in extent, covering all humans in the globe. The word was not used to describe what are often considered to be the hallmarks of eighteenth-century philanthropy, the voluntary hospitals, the Marine Society and other institutions. There was criticism, for example by Adam Smith, of the claim that mere humans could love all other humans, even some suggestions that misanthropy was more characteristic of humanity than philanthropy. But in the vast majority of references philanthropy was a sensation experienced in the body; it was not something that urged you to do anything or to spend money.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750
A social revolution begins

Ireland was the first country to extend marriage to same-sex couples through a public vote. This book records the political campaign and strategy that led to this momentous event in 2015, from the origins of a gay rights movement in a repressive Ireland through to the establishment of the Yes Equality campaign. The story traces how, for perhaps the first time in the history of the Irish State, the country shed its conservative Catholic image. Ultimately, this is the account of how a new wave of activism was successfully introduced in Ireland which led to a social revolution that is being fully realised in 2019 and beyond through subsequent campaigns, activism and further referenda. The marriage equality movement is best explored through the stories of the main campaigners, including those already well known in the Irish movement, such as David Norris, Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan, as well as individuals who inspired the founding of vibrant new groups such as NOISE and Marriage Equality, or reactivated established groups such as GLEN. This social revolution is detailed through accounts of how political lobbying was used and court cases launched that brought about necessary legal and political change which now showcases Ireland as a progressive country continually working towards achieving full equality.

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Philanthropy and crime

Howard’s fame meant that philanthropy, prison and crime were inextricably linked after his death. The foundation of the Philanthropic Society in 1788, aiming to rescue children likely to fall into crime, further strengthened the link. Robert Young, its founder, had far-reaching ideas for what philanthropy could achieve, testament to the impact of the Enlightenment. On a practical level, the movement for reform of prisons revived in the 1810s, spearheaded by Quakers. One of them, William Allen, started a periodical, The Philanthropist, to advance his ideas and to lament the failure to sustain reform after Howard’s death. Quakers founded the Prison Discipline Society and in the harsher mood of the early nineteenth century promoted use of the treadwheel. By the mid-1830s the state had effectively taken over control of prison, but critics continued to focus their attention on philanthropy for its failures, either because, with solitary confinement, prison was too harsh or because it was too comfortable for prisoners. The chapter ends with a section on the Howard Association, founded in 1866, again with Quaker support. It was the main pressure group though by the end of the century it was being challenged as too conservative.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750

Using the evidence of normative texts, such as capitularies, as well as charters and estate records, this chapter studies the aims of interventions by political authorities and the dynamics of outside intervention within local society and their influence on social cohesion locally. With a focus on the three fields of war, justice and landownership, it demonstrates (where possible) the effects on the local of intervention from outside and demonstrates that such intervention was part of the regular experience of local people – whether from invaders, in court cases or as tenants. Moreover, individual members of local residential groups could often find supporters and mediators outside their small worlds, and factions within a community could use external agencies against their neighbours: external intervention into the local in the early Middle Ages could be an opportunity as well as a threat.

in Neighbours and strangers
Lower office holders

Local societies were also influenced by other kinds of landowner, who may have been absentees or have had a wide spread of interests beyond that of a single local group. This chapter treats the ways in which outside authorities, office holders and aristocrats intervened in local society. On the one hand, members of these elites were themselves part of local societies; on the other, office holders acted as mediators linking local societies to higher levels such as the kingdom, the county or distant landowners. They therefore occupied a double position: they were themselves members of a local society and at the same time they were legitimised and commissioned by outside authorities. Numerous different types of secular office holder, from both the public and the private sphere, are referenced. However, the frequency of their appearance varies: lower-level office holders are extremely well documented in some parts of northern Italy, are less common in the Frankish and Anglo-Saxon world, and are rare in the Iberian peninsula.

in Neighbours and strangers
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A social revolution begins

Recounting the historic referendum results announced on Saturday 23 May 2015, this chapter introduces how Ireland shot onto the global stage as the first country to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples through a popular vote. Televisions across the world beamed images of people taking to the streets of the capital city and across the twenty-six counties in celebration, in tears and in solidarity.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
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The chapter starts by introducing the book’s two key themes: that philanthropy has been criticised as much as it has been praised, and that the meaning attached to the word has been in constant flux. It was only in the later twentieth century that a monetised definition took precedence over others. After outlining the methodology with its focus on usage of the words ‘philanthropy’ and ‘philanthropist’, the chapter outlines the ways they have changed over time, linking these changes to wider forces, chiefly the Enlightenment, Romanticism, evangelicalism and capitalism, and arguing that philanthropy can be understood only through its relationship with poverty and the Poor Laws, slavery and anti-slavery, political radicalism, mutualism, national identity, voluntary societies and volunteering, citizenship and the welfare state. Short chapter descriptions form a conclusion.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750

Discussing the background of the gay rights movement in Ireland, this chapter opens on 24 July 1975, when David Norris, Chairman of the first national gay rights organisation, appeared on national television to discuss why gay people should have equality. This chapter describes how Ireland was then the last remaining member of the European Economic Community to retain criminal penalties against male homosexual activity.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland