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The Sympathetic State – Disaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Sympathetic State: Disaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State

Michele Landis Dauber


Even as unemployment rates soared during the Great Depression, FDR's relief and social security programs faced attacks in Congress and the courts on the legitimacy of federal aid to the growing population of poor. In response, New Dealers pointed to a long tradition—dating back to 1790 and now largely forgotten—of federal aid to victims of disaster. This book recovers this crucial aspect of American history, tracing the roots of the modern American welfare state beyond the New Deal and the Progressive Era back to the earliest days of the republic, when relief was forthcoming for the victims of ... More

Keywords: unemployment rates, Great Depression, social security programs, Congress, federal aid, New Dealers, victims of disaster, American history, American welfare state, Progressive Era

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780226923482
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226923505.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michele Landis Dauber, author