Federal Aid for Relief

Federal Aid for Relief

Federal Aid for Relief

Federal Aid for Relief

Excerpt

The industrial depression which was heralded by the stock market crash of 1929 found the United States unprepared to meet a major relief problem. Poor relief was generally considered to be a state, and more particularly a local problem, with private charity playing a supplementary role. The basic relief legislation in 1929, the respective state poor laws, had not been much improved since the creation of the Republic. Their inadequacy prompted the establishment of public and private emergency local relief agencies in 1930 and 1931; by the close of the following year many state emergency relief agencies had been created. Finally, in 1933 the Federal Emergency Relief Administration was established to make grants to the states to assist in meeting the relief problem.

The primary purpose of this study in administration is to describe the gearing of federal emergency relief into the American system of government through an extension of the familiar grant-in-aid system, and to outline the new federalstate relationships which developed during the period that grants were made by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The opening chapter sketches the background of local relief activity from which federal grants for relief developed. The second chapter analyzes the statute providing for the creation of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, outlines the administrative set-up of that agency, and indicates the size of the problem which was faced. The F. E. R. A. soon decided that it must exert its powers as a dispenser of federal funds to ensure the attainment of three main objectives: adequacy of relief, work for employable needy persons, and diversification of the program to fit the various groups requiring relief. The third and fourth chapters deal with these main objectives of the federal grant agency and the administrative techniques and control devices that were used in an attempt to attain the goals. In order to illuminate the F. E. R. A. grant system, the direct . . .

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