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History of Social Welfare Policies & Programs Up to the 1930s: The Elderly

This guide focuses on resources that you can use when seeking information on the history of social welfare policies and programs in the U.S. up to the 1930s.

Target Populations: The Elderly

Agrarian Justice.
Thomas Paine. 1797.
Paine advocated the creation of a national fund, financed by a tax on inherited property, that would pay every person 10 Pounds annually once they reached the age of 50.
"Old Age Relief Policy Prior to 1900,"
Williamson, John B. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 43(3), July 1984, 369-384.
"Between the 17th and the 19th centuries old age relief policy in America became increasingly restrictive." Rutgers-restricted Access.
"The Poverty of Impoverishment Theory: The Economic Well-Being of the Elderly, 1890-1950,"
John B. Williamson. Journal of Economic History 56(1), 1996, 39-61. Rutgers-restricted Access.
"Provision for Old Age,"
Henry Rogers Seager. IN Social Insurance: A Program of Social Reform. New York, Macmillan Company, 1910. Chapter 5, pp. 115-145.
From a classic early work on social insurance.
Why Social Security?
Booklet published by the Social Security Board in 1937 to explain the rationale underlying the new Social Security program.

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