By Ellen Reese
Backlash opposed to Welfare moms is a forceful exam of the way and why a state-level insurrection opposed to welfare, began within the overdue Forties, used to be reworked right into a national-level attack that destroyed a severe a part of the nation's safeguard web, with tragic outcomes for American society. With a wealth of unique learn, Ellen Reese places contemporary debates concerning the modern welfare backlash into ancient viewpoint. She offers a more in-depth examine those early antiwelfare campaigns, exhibiting why they have been extra winning in a few states than others and the way competitors of welfare occasionally detailed Puerto Ricans and Chicanos in addition to blacks for cutbacks. Her examine finds either the continuities and adjustments in American welfare competition from the overdue Nineteen Forties to the current. Reese brings new facts to gentle that finds how huge farmers and racist politicians, excited about the provision of inexpensive exertions, appealed to white citizens' racial resentments and stereotypes approximately unwed moms, blacks, and immigrants within the Fifties. She then examines congressional failure to exchange the present welfare approach with a extra renowned substitute within the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, which prepared the ground for nationwide attacks on welfare. Taking a clean examine fresh debates on welfare reform, she explores how and why politicians competing for the white vote and right-wing imagine tanks selling company pursuits appeased the Christian correct and synthetic consent for cutbacks via a robust, racially coded discourse. eventually, via firsthand tales, Reese vividly portrays the tragic effects of present welfare regulations and demands a daring new schedule for operating households.
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Additional resources for Backlash against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present
Par t II The First Welfare Backlash (1945–1979) 3. The 1950s Welfare Backlash and Federal Complicity In the 1950s, states purged their welfare rolls through all sorts of new rules and regulations. ” The rule also led to violent reprisals from fathers, as Mrs. Jones’s story, recounted by a local welfare official, illustrates: Mrs. Jones came to our department . . seeking assistance, telling of the hardships, physical abuse, deprivation, and worry she had experienced until she finally left her husband in another county.
13 Because few rural areas authorized mothers’ pensions, they interfered little with farmers’ labor supply. 15 Mothers’ pensions were almost exclusively given to “deserving” white widows. Juvenile court judges and social workers commonly required beneficiaries to regularly attend Protestant churches and refrain from tobacco, alcohol, and extramarital sex and used “suitable home” and “fit mother” rules to deny aid to unwed, divorced, and separated mothers. 17 The New Deal period provided maternalist reformers with an unprecedented opportunity to expand and improve mothers’ pensions.
6 ADC also became more inclusive of unwed mothers and racial minorities. The share of national welfare cases made up of black families rose from 31 percent in 1950 to 48 percent in 1961, with the largest concentrations in the North and South. 7 ADC’s postwar expansion and its greater inclusion of unwed and nonwhite mothers were partly due to rising fertility rates, which increased the number of families and their average size. 9 Federal welfare policies also contributed to changes in the ADC caseload and its size.
Backlash against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present by Ellen Reese