At the end of the nineteenth century, when pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical 'Rerum Novarum', Maastricht too had already a long tradition of welfare care. For instance, there were the house 'the twelve Apostles' for old men, and the Saint Vincent organisation with the 'ladies of Charity'. But now, things would be tackled in a more systematic way. And this should be done without delay, because the printer Willem Vliegen intended to propagate Socialism in the town. Catholic leaders like monseigneur Rutten organised the Catholic emancipation of the workers. Then the workers district Blauwdorp (Blue Village) was built.
It was remarkable enough that the 'armbestuur' (the committee to help the poor) was not Catholic, but neutral.
The Netherlands did not participate in the First World War. But Maastricht nursed many soldiers, and it received many refugees from Belgium.
After the Second World War, some old downtown districts had to be renovated. The Stokstraatkwartier was a popular district like the Jordaan in Amsterdam, where people were solidary to each other. The Stokstraat people had to move to the Ravelijn district, and got there a training to become 'neat' people. After the Stokstraat, the Boschstraatkwartier came in for its turn.

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