Skip to main content

Christodora Settlement House, 1897-1939

Written by June Hopkins, Ph. D., History Department, Armstrong Atlantic State University. “Almost one hundred years ago, when Christina Isobel MacColl and her friend Sarah Carson founded Christodora Settlement House in the slums of New York City’s Lower East Side…these two indomitable women, inspired by such social activists as Jane Addams and Lillian Wald, intended to settle in the slums and form bonds of “love and loyalty” with their immigrant neighbors while helping them adjust to the mean streets and squalid tenements of urban America.”Continue Reading »

Progressive Values: The Seedbed for New Deal Policies

The cultural and political currents that shaped American society during the early decades of the twentieth century had a decided effect on the configuration of the American welfare system as it appeared in the 1930s.Continue Reading »

Progressive Era

Progressivism is a term commonly applied to a variety of responses to the economic and social problems that arose as a result of urbanization and the rapid industrialization introduced to America in the 19th Century.Continue Reading »

Redefining the Federal Role in Social Welfare: 1995

The November 1994 congressional elections transformed the perennial debate over how much of the national income should be allocated for social welfare, how broadly or narrowly should the welfare responsibility of government be defined, what populations or institutions should receive benefits or administer them, and how to divide the costs. Continue Reading »

Current Issues and Programs in Social Welfare

American social welfare, thanks to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Social Security Act of 1935, is furthered currently by two major categories of cash support programs: social insurances? and public assistance. Social insurances are based on the prior earnings and payroll contributions of an individual, while public assistance, commonly known as “welfare,” is based on the financial need of an individual.Continue Reading »

Cohen, Wilbur J.: Mental Retardation Legislation

On mental retardation legislation, the second major sustained effort of the Kennedy years, Cohen operated as the servant of others. Cohen worked hard on this matter, and that was because Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was an extraordinarily driven and dedicated woman, wanted him to do so.Continue Reading »

Cohen, Wilbur J. : A Perspective

Wilbur Cohen bounded off the plane and down the jet way at Logan Airport. Unlike the other passengers, who were somewhat tentative as they faced the uncertainties of a new city, he did not measure his step. He walked, with determined energy, straight ahead.Continue Reading »

Women’s Suffrage: The Movement

In 2005, the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, celebrated its 85th anniversary. The resolution calling for woman suffrage had passed, after much debate, at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, convened by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. In The Declaration of Sentiments, a document based upon the Declaration of Independence, the numerous demands of these early activists were elucidated.Continue Reading »

Bethune, Mary McLeod

An educator, organizer, and policy advocate, Bethune became one of the leading civil rights activists of her era. She led a group of African American women to vote after the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution (giving women the right to vote).Continue Reading »

Lange, Dorothea

Dorothea Lange was one of the leading documentary photographers of the Depression and arguably the most influential. Some of her pictures were reproduced so repeatedly and widely that they became commonly understood symbols of the human suffering caused by the economic disaster. At the same time her work functioned to create popular support for New Deal programs.Continue Reading »

View graphic version