Welfare policy made its formal debut in America in the late 1930s during the Great Depression. Though, before the Depression, there were several small programs that the United States government supported. When the depression hit, it crippled Americans. The proposed Welfare policy seemed perfect for getting them back on their feet. In 1935, Franklin Roosevelt created two programs that are still in place today: the unemployment compensation and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Though now the AFDC has changed and taken a new name. The Welfare policy that was formally put into place lasted until the 1990s when individuals became concerned that some were abusing the system. They believed that some were having more children to qualify for more aid, staying unmarried, and just not applying for jobs. American’s were so concerned with the policy that they elected a president based on his proposal for a welfare system reformation. President Bill Clinton promised hope for Americans and their policy.
The historical definitions of worthy and unworthy poor come from the early 1600’s for dealing with the poor. Family was expected to take care of other poor family members (Hansan, 2011). The worthy poor are to be considered true victims of poverty. They were pregnant women, people who are truly unwell and unable to work or someone over the age of sixty. These were the people that were allowed to beg on the street since the government deemed them worthy (Martin, 2014, p.21). The unworthy poor were the legally defined drifter, or beggars. If people were able to work but they were without a job, they were whipped, marched through the streets, returned to where they came from, or thrown in jail. Repeat offenders of begging often had ears cut off or were killed (Martin, 2014, p.21).
Having only recently permeated the public and political lexicon, there are few debates that evoke such passion as that of the underclass. Karl Marx tabled the idea of the lumpen proletariat, yet in the modern era, the concept did not take hold in Britain until 1989. Today, the debate focuses on whether frictional forces create a continuum of inequality, or whether a defined underclass does exist. The question asks if 'poor people' belong in a separate underclass, which is a vague definition. There will always be 'poor people', but whether or not this automatically qualifies them as a separate underclass is tenuous at best. Even the most radical proponents for the existence of the underclass stop short of declaring all those below the
This means that being an American during this period was hard and individuals that were considered poor were not given all these rights as I stated before. These rights were only available to individuals that own land or have a business or have money. In order for individuals to have a status they needed to have
Poverty has been a big issue over the past century or so and continues to be a problem to this day in the United States. Due to the Civil War, rural areas and industrial areas were affected by poverty. The poverty of rural sharecroppers in 1877 was different from the poverty of unemployed industrial workers in 1939. Even though both situations were dealing with a form of poverty, both were two completely different situations. There were several major events that happened that caused poverty of rural sharecroppers in 1877. Although there were various events leading up to the poverty of unemployed industrial workers in 1939, poverty in the year of 1877 was just as bad, if not worse, as in the year of 1939.
This act set up local 'parishes' that were responsible for taking care of the poor in their own district. However, the government provided no funds to facilitate this program?the parishes were responsible for levying and collecting taxes to finance their programs. Though it would be considered a very primitive form of welfare by today?s standards, it was a large step toward government-mediated welfare compared to the English system 250 years before that. In 1349, Parliament forbade charity on the grounds that it might encourage laziness. Since then, public attitudes have changed about the responsibility of the citizens and the government to provide for the assistance of the needy. Limited federal assistance was given to war veterans and their families beginning during the Civil War, but large scale assistance to the general needy community was not available for almost 75 more years (Komisar 48). A large contribution toward the assistance of the poor in the United States came during the Progressive movement around the turn of the century. Activist groups championed not only workers rights in the form of unions, but also the right of every citizen to have access to decent living conditions (Komisar 67).
Throughout the 1800’s in the U.S , a lot of people were aware of big problems that we still have an issue with today . As people would walk down the street and when you would listen to conversations between other people, you would see that the children’s poverty was a main subject to speak of. For many more reasons children had began to fall into situation to be in poverty. The children were helpless, freezing during climate change, starvation, and lonely . And the adults wanted this issue to change for the better sake of children.
One of the problems that poverty presented in the expansion of the newly born Republic was a building of tension between the government and welfare recipients over aid benefits. The very idea of what constituted someone in poverty, what aid should be given, and to whom by whom was vigorously debated. It was thought that poverty would impact the developing patriarchal American society, so much so that public officials “worried that generous relief programs encouraged the poor to live on the public’s expense.” The government struggled with the type and amount to provide to those in need and they quickly learned that not all of the welfare programs necessarily met the demands of those living in poverty. The welfare recipients in the new Republic had the potential to disrupt the social and political structures of the government, especially a newly formed one, by burdening its taxpayers. Even in a country, like the United States, with opportunities to make a living wage, a welfare system to provide additional resources, and religious backers to support “paupers openly mocked the values of thrift, sobriety, and self-control.”
Welfare has been an arguable topic throughout United States history (“Brief”). Some people agree with it and others do not like it at all. Welfare did not exist until the 1930s during The Great Depression (“Brief”). With millions of people unemployed, Franklin D. Roosevelt developed the welfare system to help these people during the Great Depression (“Brief”). After the Great Depression was over,, the government came up with new programs to help assist the welfare program and help more people in poverty (“Brief”). Some of those programs were Medicaid, public housing, food stamps, and Supplemental Security programs (“Brief”). Theses programs helped and hurt the country at the same time (“Brief”). By having these programs, many people would not look for jobs because they knew they were better off living on welfare (“Brief”).
Throughout the 1800`s welfare history continued when there were attempts to reform how the government do business with the poor and extreme need. Some changes tried to help the poor move to work rather than continuing to need assistance. Social casework, consisting of caseworkers visiting the poor and training them in standards and a work ethic was supported by reformers in the 1880s and 1890s. Prior to the Great Depression, the U.S. Congress supported various programs to assist the poor. When the Great Depression hit, many families suffered. It was supposed that one-fourth of the labor force was unemployed during the worst part of the depression. With many families suffering financial difficulties, the government stepped in to solve the problem and that is where the history of welfare as we know it really began. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Social Security Act was accomplish in 1935. The act, which was amended in 1939, established a number of programs designed to provide benefits to various sections of the population Unemployment benefits and originally Aid Dependent Children are two programs that still exist
Men who were once prominent, upstanding citizens with jobs were now reduced to standing in line for a soup kitchen all while watching their family suffer. This led many men to lose all hope and turn to alcohol or even abandoning their family. Women were home trying to keep the household together. They canned food and sewed clothing, trying to make every penny count. Many even worked outside of the home for low, low wages. Children were sometimes forced to work as well. Any income for a family was helpful and many schools were closed due to lack of federal funds. Many families exhibited symptoms of malnutrition and other diseases due to poor nutrition. People could no longer afford health care or things like milk that helped keep them healthy. At this time there was no federal system for direct relief.
In the Colonial Era, welfare was virtually non-existent, except between neighbors and relatives. The Early Industrial Era like the Colonial Era, viewed the poor as nugatory. In 1929, the Gret Depression changed the view of the poor and poverty was officially declared a social problem. Shortly thereafter, President Roosevelt initiated reforms to assist the poor. President Johnson additionally aided in the fight against poverty in the 1960's. However, twenty years later the Federal Government with the help of the Regan Administration, began slashing the very programs which were created to help the poor. Then, with the changes in welfare made by President Clinton, the Federal Government programs became state level programs. This transformation has not curtailed poverty as some would like us to believe. Also, the welfare reform typifies a Conservative stance, since it views Federal welfare programs that help the poor as encouraging
During the Great Depression of the 1929, people were out of work and could not take care of their families. There were “Hoovervilles” all across the country. They were named after President Hoover. President Hoover did not believe that the government should take care of the people. He felt that if the government stepped in it would take away the people had for themselves. In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Governor of New York, was elected President of the United States. He immediately started his first “New Deal”. The government stepped in and helped the people. That is when the Welfare System was born. It started as a way to get the country out of the depression. The depression lasted ten years and the country was changed forever.
We get a glimpse of the Social Darwinism perspective “survival of the fittest” and only the strong will continue. We have been taught Democratic Egalitarianism and Individualism argue equality and privileges should be demonstrated and given to all citizens, this would be the ideal situation, unfortunately the poor was simply lazy and the master of their fate. Interestingly morality came into view never looking at the devices engaged to inhibit access to a free membership of the American life as the culprit. More over the article mentioned being poor is to be considered a religious factor by many. Those that were poverty stricken was stigmatized as beliefs dictated by Puritans and numerous religious communists an individual out of God’s favor was doom to suffer; poverty aided as a symbol of this social ill. Various subscriptions given however, with many prerequisites; such as acquiring skills or obtaining a job whose initial pay was favorable would serve as a cure all; certainly one could say, there is a degree of legitimacy as in some cases what was aforementioned has worked, but quite often is not the end result. If the success story yielded a higher rate one possibly will walk away with a greater
Poverty in the so-called “land of the free” is downplayed and skewed by the American media conglomerates. These gatekeepers are making life harder for people below the poverty line by masking the true issues that lie beneath it. Therefore they are using their overarching power to make the rich richer and keep the poor poorer, through methods such as instilling fear in the middle class.