Becoming A Welfare State

by Baylie Mann

4 Factors

  1. America has taken a more regulated view of who is eligible to government assistance.
  2. America has been slower than other countries to embrace the welfare state.
  3. states play a large role in running welfare programs
  4. and nongovernmental organizations play a large role in welfare

4th Feature

Nongovernmental organizations can receive monetary grants. This allows the organizations to assist the poor.

Charitable choice prohibited religious organizations from using any public funds for proselytizing, religious instruction, or worship services, and also prohibited the government from requiring them to remove religious art from buildings where social service delivery programs funded by Washington might be administered.

Then & Now


During the Great Depression, in 1929, state and local governments provided relief to the needy people such as widows, orphans, and the elderly. Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Cabinet Committee on Economic Security to consider long-term policies. The cabinet committee emerged a plan that called for two programs:

  • insurance program (unemployed and elderly who would benefit when they became unemployed or retired)
  • assistance program (blind, dependent children, and aged)


Today, millions of Americans receive food, money, or medicine through programs funded largely by the federal government.