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Three Worlds of ReliefRace, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal$
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Cybelle Fox

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152233

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152233.001.0001

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Three Worlds of Race, Labor, and Politics

Three Worlds of Race, Labor, and Politics

(p.19) Chapter 2 Three Worlds of Race, Labor, and Politics
Three Worlds of Relief

Cybelle Fox

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes in detail the three worlds, focusing on the factors—labor, race, and politics—that will best explain the differential incorporation of blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants into the American welfare state and the scope, form, and function of relief provision across regions. On the eve of the Great Depression, the vast majority of European immigrants lived in the Northeast and Midwest, Mexicans lived overwhelmingly in the Southwest, while most blacks still lived in the South. So different were their experiences with the racial, political, and labor market systems in these regions that these groups could be said to be living in separate worlds. Each of them suffered from significant discrimination at the hands of native-born whites in the early part of the twentieth century. European immigrants were largely included in the social welfare system, blacks were largely excluded, while Mexicans were often expelled from the nation simply for requesting assistance.

Keywords:   labor, race, politics, black immigrants, Mexican immigrants, European immigrants, American welfare state, relief provision, discrimination, social welfare system

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