Administration of Public Welfare

By R. Clyde White | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Public welfare services of today grew out of the old Poor Law; social insurance is a departure from the poor law and represents an adjustment to the vicissitudes of modern capitalism. Historically the poor law was a practical device for maintaining the physical existence of the economically unfortunate while causing the least pain to the taxpayer. There was not until recently any idea that the public social services could be preventive or constructive. On the contrary, it was hoped that by the provision of as little assistance as possible the "lazy loafers" would be forced to go back to work! It was the experimenting of the private social agencies with reasonably adequate material aid accompanied by case-work services that within the last two decades awakened the public to the possibility of constructive welfare services administered by government. Great Britain took the first long step toward adequacy in relief grants when it provided for "out-of-work donations," "uncovenanted benefits," and "transitional benefits" after the World War for persons ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits --albeit these payments were made from the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The principle involved was finally incorporated into the Unemployment Assistance Act of 1934 and became a permanent part of the British public welfare services. It did not become a national policy in this country until the passage of the Federal Emergency Relief Act in 1933.

But the idea that the economic system is shot through with unavoidable hazards for the working population was first recognized by government with the enactment of the early social insurance laws. Ironical as it may seem, credit for this advance in social legislation goes to the imperial German government. It was on May 8, 1881, that Bismarck, as chancellor of the German Empire, sent the first social insurance bill to a national legislative body. Along


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Administration of Public Welfare


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 532

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?