Colonial Era

HW RESPONSE #2: SUMMARY-OVERVIEW   The History of Social Policy: Part II summarizes more than 300 years of social welfare history, focusing on the way government has formulated policies that affect the well-being of America’s diverse peoples.

Chapter 7 Provide (1-2) examples of social policy during the colonial era and the early years of the Republic. In your examples show how the poor laws dominated government action in the field. Describe the way slavery and policies toward Native Americans have caused great harm and suffering, and dramatically illustrating the point that social policies are not always benevolent.

Chapter 8 List (2-3) key events during the end of the 19th century during which efforts were made to enhance the well-being of the nation’s citizens through activist government intervention. Known as the Progressive Era, this period witnessed considerable expansion of government regulation that brought about improved working conditions for poor people, particularly in industrial occupations. It was also characterized by the expansion of the social services and the enactment of legislation that afforded a greater measure of protection to children and other vulnerable groups.

Chapter 9 Show how the involvement of government in social welfare increased dramatically in the 1930s when faced with the problems of mass unemployment and poverty resulting from the Great Depression.  The Roosevelt administration introduced various measures intended to revive the economy, create jobs, and meet the needs of the unemployed and poor- programs adopted at the time are loosely referred to as the New Deal. Although the public works, relief, and job training programs that were central to the New Deal were eventually disbanded, the Social Security Act of 1935 continues today, providing social protection to millions of Americans.

Chapter 10 Provide (1-2) examples of the Johnson administration’s Great Society programs which perpetuated the trend toward the expansion of government involvement in social welfare. Did these programs strengthen the existing social services?  Programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and local participation in poverty alleviation translated into law the civil rights movement’s struggle against racism and oppression.

Chapter 11  Trace the efforts of the Reagan administration to halt the apparently inexorable trend toward increasing government involvement in social welfare.  Discuss how budgetary retrenchments, privatization, contracting of services, and other policy innovations reshaped social policy in America. Offer (1-2) examples of the policies of the Clinton administration, which sought to implement a “new Democrat” agenda but terminated the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program in 1996. Examine the policy innovations of the Bush administration, which focused unsuccessfully on Social Security privatization, but was more successful in promoting a faith-based approach to social welfare.

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