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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 Relief

Three Worlds of Relief

(p.52) Chapter 3 Three Worlds of Relief
Three Worlds of Relief

Cybelle Fox

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the relief systems that had emerged in different parts of the country by the eve of the Great Depression. It also describes and explains the racial patterning of local social welfare provision across the 295 largest cities, focusing not only on spending levels but also on the sources of funding. On the eve of the Great Depression, the southern and much of the southwestern relief system was stunted by comparison with the social welfare system that had begun to flourish in the North. Nonetheless, the South and much of the Southwest tended to spend considerably less on relief and depend far more heavily on private donations, while the North spent considerably more on relief and relied more heavily on public funding. These regional variations suggest that blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants would have had significantly different access to relief services based solely on their region of residence.

Keywords:   relief systems, Great Depression, racial patterning, social welfare, southwestern relief system, northern relief system, private donations, public funding, regional variations, relief services

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