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The Sympathetic StateDisaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State$
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Michele Landis Dauber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226923482

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226923505.001.0001

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Building the Sympathetic State

Building the Sympathetic State

(p.17) One Building the Sympathetic State
The Sympathetic State

Michele Landis Dauber

University of Chicago Press

This chapter details the growth of disaster relief appropriations, both in number and in scale, over the course of the century leading up to the New Deal. This occurred during precisely the period now associated most closely with the dominance of laissez-faire ideology and the decided lack of any federal welfare state. Significantly, constitutional objections to disaster relief spending were infrequently raised in Congress, and were often quickly brushed aside as irrelevant in the face of the imperative to respond to blameless suffering.

Keywords:   federal disaster relief, New Deal, laissez-faire, welfare state

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