Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Disability
(910 words)

According to present-day definitions, a disabled person is someone who can no longer participate in a way of life that is regarded as “normal,” because of some lasting physical, mental, or psychological damage. However, there was no such term until the early 19th century. Rather, disability was considered a form of infirmity (i.e. illness). Many sources (especially municipal beggary and poor laws) therefore deal with disability groups, such as the blind, the lame, and the “crippled” (German bresthaftige lut), but without a common concept. Legal texts treat disability on…

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Schattner, Angela, “Disability”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017447>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626



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