Social Welfare History in the USA | Free Essay Example

Social Welfare History in the USA

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History of Social Welfare

The establishment of social welfare, in the USA, was one of the most critical undertakings in the history of the country. In essence, the true definition and perspective of looking at social welfare have undergone profound evolution. Authors have come up with new and better ways of defining this term.

In the early 1900s, social welfare was considered as undertakings, policies, and activities that have been organized to solve social problems. However, in the 1950s, authors and scholars started viewing social welfare as a more broad and enduring, element than just helping people with their problems. They started viewing social welfare as an existence of the right order in the society whereby people relate peacefully to enable human habitation and development.

When Social Welfare Began

Elizabethan Period

In terms of worldwide perspective, social welfare, by the first definition, started in England when Queen Elizabeth stipulated the Poor Law in 1601. These laws provided for the collection of taxes from the employed people to get funds that were used to provide aid to the poor and employed people in society. It also enabled the government to offer help and care for the orphans, windows, and neglected children in the streets. This was the very first time when the world experienced social welfare.

Roosevelt’s New Deal

Whereas social welfare can be traced back to the Elizabethan era, a clear stipulation of social welfare in the USA was experienced during Roosevelt’s governance. Before his era in office, the local authorities and individual institutions joined hands to provide charitable assistance to the poor and unemployed people in the country from 1900. This undertaking led to the conception of the famous term known as public relief.

However, the robust industrialization and urbanization led to the increased numbers of poor people to the extent that the involved personnel could not afford more assistance. By 1926, 40 states had implemented this initiative, especially for the mothers who were bringing up needy young ones.

Some of the authorities managed to offer financial support to the old people. The great depression brought a new turning point to these social welfare programs in the USA. When the depression occurred, the local authorities were incapacitated to provide the support anymore.

This called for the national government to intervene and help the citizens in light of their afflictions. In 1932, under the reign of President Hoover, the government bailed out the local authorities by enacting the Emergency Relief and Construction Act. This was the starting point of the well-defined social welfare act that helped to set up a reliable and established system.

Importantly, President Franklin Roosevelt implemented the Federal Emergency Relief Act in 1933. In respect to this program, about $250 million was released to offer grants to companies and ensure their reconstruction. His input was reinforced further by the decision to conceive and implement the popular Social Security Act of 1935.

This program was a more comprehensive undertaking which was meant to act as the permanent measure since the implementation of FERA was a temporary measure. Having stipulated this act, President Roosevelt was the most crucial person who established a permanent social welfare program in the USA.

Johnston’s Great Society

President Johnston sought to set up a program referred to as “the great society” within a period running from 1964-1965. He aimed at eliminating poverty among the American citizenry and eradicating racism.

The entire policy focused on various aspects of development, including healthcare, urban-related challenges, and transportation infrastructure. The agenda was steered by his personal appeal to the people as well as the Democrats in the Congress. From a critical perspective, it has been likened to the famous New Deal that was envisaged by President Roosevelt.

ADC, AFDC, and TANF

The social welfare policy has evolved profoundly whereby it transformed in three stages, including the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC), Aid to Families with Dependent Child (AFDC), and Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF). ADC was the original voluntary policy introduced in 1935 under the Social Security Act during the reign of President Roosevelt.

The policy was later renamed to AFDC in order to focus on the families with dependent children entirely. Later, the government introduced TANF whereby the states get some governmental grants from the federal government to offer temporary help to the needy families. Importantly, this has been reinforced by the currently prevalent Obamacare policy for healthcare.

Reasons for Social Welfare Establishment

Primarily, as it has been mentioned above, the social welfare had been started to help the needy and the poor to sustain their individual lives. In addition, the primary goal was the provision of basic needs to unemployed people. In 1935, the enactment of the Social Security Act was meant to reinstate the original living condition that existed before the depression.

Also, it was meant to rebuild the core values of the American people. Security of families was prioritized to a great extent in the country after the establishment of the social security act. Importantly, the government needed to instill the ideologies of brotherhood and patriotism to the citizens. As a result, it can be concluded that the establishment of social welfare aimed to help the poor, needy, elderly, and young people in society.

Involved Parties

There were various entities and organizations that helped to set up the social welfare program in the United States of America. First, the local governments played a critical role in the implementation of this program. In essence, the local governments started by implementing public relief, which was incapacitated after the great depression prevailed in the country. Also, the local governments implemented this program with the help of private organizations.

These organizations provided financial support to the local governments willingly and patriotically. Secondly, the involvement of President Herbert Hoover was important, crucial to the establishment of social welfare in the country.

He was the main person behind the stipulation and implementation of the Emergency Relief and Construction Act, which was conceived in 1932. The president oversaw the release of 300 million dollars for the reconstruction and support of companies that had been exhausted financially. President Roosevelt also played a critical role in 1935 onwards to create the New Deal and transform the entire policy.

Annotated Bibliography

Avik, R. (2014, August 13). Transcending Obamacare. Forbes, p. 14.

Avik conducted a research study concerning the transcendence of Obamacare. The author focused on the proposal of this policy with a view to determine how it is patent-centered. In addition, the author sought to reveal its universal coverage of patients.

Benedixen-Noe, M. K., Mitias, B. J., & Hull, W. L. (1993). The Impact of Population Density on the Likelihood of Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) Clients Becoming Economically Self-Sufficient.. Educational Resource Information Center, 15, 2-14.

The authors studied the relationship between the population and the possibility of ADC policy to offer financial sufficiency. They established that the states with the medium level of population density had greater likelihood of having experiencing self sufficiency.

Sharde, A. (2014). The Foster Care System Looking Forward: The Growing Fiscal and Policy Rationale for the Elimination of the AFDC Look Back. New York University Journal of Legislation & Public Policy, 17(1), 193-238.

This research was conducted by Sharde (2014) in an attempt to investigate the reason as to why AFDC was eliminated. In this case, the author exemplifies the determining factors that led to the introduction of TANF in favor of the AFDC.

Snarr, H., Friesner, D., & Underwood, D. (2012). Evaluating evolutionary changes in state TANF policies. Applied Economics Letters, 19(17), 1753-1758.

Snarr, Friesner and Uderwood (2012) researched on the historical development of Temporary Aid to Needy Families. It shows the critical improvements that have been conducted in line with this social security policy.

Weise, K. (2013, October 31). Consultants Cash in Obamacare. Bloomberg Businessweek, p. 26.

Weise (2013) conducted a research in an attempt to show the real aspects of Obamacare in contrast to the propagandas that have been developed regarding its introduction.

References

Avik, R. (2014, August 13). Transcending Obamacare. Forbes, p. 14.

Benedixen-Noe, M. K., Mitias, B. J., & Hull, W. L.(1993). The Impact of Population Density on the Likelihood of Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) Clients Becoming Economically Self-Sufficient.. Educational Resource Information Center, 15, 2-14.

Sharde, A. (2014). The Foster Care System Looking Forward: The Growing Fiscal and Policy Rationale for the Elimination of the AFDC Look Back. New York University Journal Of Legislation & Public Policy, 17(1), 193-238.

Snarr, H., Friesner, D., & Underwood, D. (2012). Evaluating evolutionary changes in state TANF policies. Applied Economics Letters, 19(17), 1753-1758.

Weise, K. (2013, October 31). Consultants Cash in Obamacare. Bloomberg Businessweek, p. 26.