Term Paper Resource Guide to Twentieth-Century United States History

By Robert Muccigrosso; Ron Blazek et al. | Go to book overview

AUDIOVISUAL SOURCES
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Los Angeles: FoxVideo, 1940. Videocassette. No better insight is provided into the plight of the Okies than was contained in this book made into a motion picture. Henry Fonda provides a stirring performance as a migrant worker in this 129-minute feature.
WORLD WIDE WEB
The Dust Bowl. January 1996. http://drylands.nasm.edu:1995/bowl.html Brief description along with four photographs illustrating the desolation of this natural catastrophe.
39.

Establishment of Social Security (1935)
Despite the urgings of early twentieth-century reformers and the example of European nations, the United States lacked a national system of welfare assistance to its needy. Spurred on by the popular promises of the Townsend Plan and by the efforts of Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Congress in 1935 passed the Social Security Act. The measure focused on three major goals: (1) a pension plan for retirees age sixty-five and over, to be financed equally by employers and workers; (2) a more uniform state code of unemployment compensation; and (3) federal assistance to states for such welfare matters as aiding dependent children and disabled persons.
Suggestions for Term Papers
1. Analyze why European nations generally had a social security system before the United States did.
2. Was the Townsend Plan a realistic proposal?
3. Analyze the arguments both for and against social security during the New Deal era and today.
4. Discuss the origins of the Social Security Act.
5. Compare today’s social security system in the United States with that of a European nation.

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