Widows and Orphans First: The Family Economy and Social Welfare Policy, 1880-1939
Widows and Orphans First investigates the importance of local economies and values in the origins of the welfare state through an exploration of widows' lives in three industrial American cities with widely differing economic, ethnic, and racial bases.
In Fall River, Massachusetts, employment was regarded as the solution to widows' poverty, so public charitable expenditure was drastically limited. In Pittsburgh, where few jobs were available for women or children--and where jobs for men were in "widowmaking" industries such as steel and railroading--the city's charitable establishments were more sympathetic. In the border city of Baltimore, which had a large African American population and a diverse economy that relied on inexpensive child and female labor, funds for public services were limited, and African Americans tended to establish their own charitable institutions. In this unique comparative study of widows' welfare and family economy, Jay Kleinberg examines the role of children in society and the development of social welfare policy for widows.
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ACFR African American widows Alice Kessler-Harris Allegheny County American Welfare Annual Report Assistance Fund Baltimore’s beneﬁts Cambridge Charity Organization Society Chicago child labor Children’s Bureau Children’s Bureau Papers children’s homes city’s Coresident daughters Dependent Children Depression difﬁcult early twentieth century earned economic activity elderly employment ethnic Fall River family economy Family Welfare Association federal female ﬁnancial ﬁrst ﬁve Gender Harvard University History households income industrial inﬂuence institutions labor force legislation levels Linda Gordon living Manuscript census Maryland Massachusetts maternal maternalist Mayor mills motherhood occupations ofﬁcials ofthe Old Age older widows orphanages outdoor relief parents Pennsylvania pensions percent Pittsburgh Policy Politics poor population programs Progressive Era proportion race racial reﬂected reformers signiﬁcant single mothers Skocpol Social Security Act Society southern Theda Skocpol three cities U.S. Bureau urban wage Washington white widows widowed mothers widowhood widows and orphans workers York young children