By Matthew A. Crenson
This ebook examines the relationship among the decline of the orphanage and the increase of welfare. Matthew Crenson argues that the prehistory of the welfare procedure used to be performed out no longer at the level of nationwide politics or classification clash yet within the micropolitics of institutional administration. New preparations for baby welfare coverage emerged steadily as superintendents, vacationing brokers, and charity officers answered to the problems that they encountered in working orphanages or growing platforms that served as choices to institutional care. Crenson additionally follows the decades-long debate in regards to the relative advantages of relations care or institutional deal with established little ones. Leaving negative kids at domestic with their moms emerged because the most widely applicable substitute to the orphanage, besides an bold new perception of social reform. rather than sheltering susceptible teenagers in associations designed to remodel them into virtuous voters, the reformers of the revolutionary period attempted to combine terrible little ones into the bigger society, whereas holding them from its perils.
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Extra info for Building the Invisible Orphanage: A Prehistory of the American Welfare System
In addition to the orphanage, there was the poorhouse, the reform school, the penitentiary, the insane asylum, and a variety of residential facilities for the mentally and physically handicapped. Conceived in hope and benevolence, they have today fallen from public consciousness and favor. The White House Conference marked not just the Progressives’ rejection of the orphanage, but also the decline of the larger institutional type to which it belonged. In its place, we have invented an alternative repertoire of routines for coping with economically disadvantaged or socially irregular people—for example, probation, parole, mainstreaming, foster homes, old age pensions, and welfare.
Congress had also approved child labor legislation in 1916, but the Supreme Court held both this measure and a successor to be unconstitutional. In the background, national campaigns for woman suffrage and prohibition were moving toward triumph, mobilizing activists responsive to maternalist themes in public policy. While America sought to protect children against hazard, Europe concentrated on insuring male breadwinners against the accidents of life and the inevitability of aging and death. ” But it was clear by the time of the White House Conference that Europe and America were coming at welfare from different directions—and that Europe was much further advanced in the construction of modern welfare states with comprehensive systems of social insurance for workers.
They had little patience with the Old World acceptance of poverty as God’s will, the work of blind fate, a circumstance of the human condition, or an inevitable consequence of the capitalist mode of production. The conviction that poverty was preventable did not necessarily mean that the poor themselves were responsible for preventing it. But the preventionist view of destitution did mean that the apportionment of blame would be an essential feature of American social policy, and that politically successful social policy would have to lift the responsibility for dependency from the shoulders of the poor themselves.