The American Welfare System: Origins, Structure, and Effects

By Howard Gensler | Go to book overview

It is, of course, probable that the application of this test will produce some inconvenience and hardship. If it did not do that it would probably fail of its purpose. You cannot get the wagon out the rut without administering some jolts. We hope to jolt it just enough to wake up some of the occupants without inflicting any serious or permanent injury. 232

The main point is that the resulting stress to the families affected, to the existing charity systems, and to local governments was anticipated to be minimal. In time, however, the inabilities of private charities to meet these increased needs without demanding that women also work caused a crumbling in the public opposition to state-funded programs to support them. Child labor laws would thus pave the way for mothers' pension laws, despite widespread reluctance to support welfare programs or to trust state governments to administer them.


NOTES
178.
Owen R. Lovejoy, "Some Unsettled Questions About Child Labor," in Proc. Fifth ACCL ( New York: NCLC, 1909), pp. 54-55.
179.
As Walter Trattner writes: "The child-saving campaign embraced many programs: the creation of children's aid societies; the transfer of children from almshouses to private homes for better care; efforts to reduce infant mortality; the establishment of houses of correction, juvenile courts, probation systems, parks, playgrounds, and public baths; widows' pensions; improved schools and curricula as well as compulsory attendance laws; and, above all, a crusade against child labor." See Walter I. Trattner, The Crusade for the Children: A History of the National Child Labor Committee and Child Labor Reform in America ( Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1970), p. 47.
180.
Julian W. Mack, in "The President's Address: Social Progress," Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction at the Thirty-Ninth Annual Session ( Fort Wayne, IN: Fort Wayne Printing Company, 1912), pp. 1-2.
181.
Elizabeth S. Johnson, "Child Labor Legislation," John R. Commons, ed., History of Labor in the United States, 1898-1932 ( New York: The Macmillan Company, 1935), Vol. 3, pp. 404-405.
183.
Ibid., pp. 411-412.
184.
Ibid., pp. 413-414.
185.
Ibid., p. 421.
186.
Ibid., p. 427.
187.
State of New York, Report and Testimony Taken Before the Special Committee of the Assembly Appointed to Investigate the Conditions of Female Laborin the City of New York

-69-

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