The Welfare State

4 April 2015
A study of the development of state welfare models in the U.S.A.

The paper looks at the progression of welfare models in the U.S.A., focusing on the “New Deal” of Roosevelt’s time, as a change in the way welfare was distributed and granted. This model is compared to earlier welfare models, primarily the Poor Laws of 1597 and 1601 in the UK. The importance of the work of Jane Adams is studied and welfare in the context of the Great Depression is looked at. The paper concludes with evaluations of and comparisons between different models of state welfare
The Poor Laws of 1597 and 1601 were the first legislative attempt in England at building a state welfare system, and to provide for people who could not provide financially for themselves. Local parishes became responsible for raising and distributing funds by way of poor rates. Specifics on the determinants of distribution of these rates were at the discretion of individual parishes. Although these Acts did not specifically provide a pension for the old, it was this category of people who would invariably be the majority long-term claimants. At this time there was simply no other route for an individual to gain financial aid from the state.

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