Trend toward Indoor Relief 1800 to Civil War The Mood of the Nation Time of movement and growth Industrialization in northeast (largely cotton) Explosion of wealth in south (cotton) Westward migration, population expansion and addition of new states Canals and railways fostered commerce Voting extended to all free adult white males Age of common man –Jacksonian democracy began in 1828 Social issues & reformers – concern for deaf and blind, mentally ill Immigration, prohibition and antiCatholicism German and Irish immigrants Catholics grew from 300,000 to 3 million from 1830-1860 Irish destitute and threat to standard of living – would work for any wage Concerns about blacks, especially free blacks in the south -- colonization Trattner’s View of Mood Growing view that poor responsible for their own condition Land/resources plentiful – personal weakness cause of poverty All poor viewed with contempt, even “worthy” Poor, Catholic immigrants added to tension Moral Crusade Seen as Solution to Social Problems Catholics seen as uncivilized with the evil habit of drink Other problems thought to be caused by moral defects – crime, insanity, gambling, prostitution, vagrancy Recessions, discrimination, lack of social institutions not seen as leading to social problems Temperance Limiting availability of strong drink will solve social problems 1833 there were 6,000 American Temperance Society chapters Tax heavily, restrict sales, or prohibit sales were major goals Opposed by immigrant groups and many middle class and working class Americans Anti-pauperism Strategies Self-sufficiency possible if one worked hard and was moral Thus poverty was linked to idleness and/or immorality or laws removed incentive to work Best way to deter poverty was through getting rid of outdoor relief Poorhouses would be efficient and provide a way to change the poor Concern about Outdoor Aid Belief that poor laws removed incentive to work Belief that public assistance should be eliminated in favor of private charity only Deemed impossible, but for cost savings and efficiency, move to institutional care Yates Report New York State survey research on poor relief 1824 recommendations No public help for able bodied 18-50 Institutional help for old, young, and disabled County become administrative unit Almshouses Became predominant way to help poor Under county administration, usually housed a conglomerate of unfortunates Old, young, sick, well, sane, insane, retarded, alcoholic, delinquent, criminal For most (except old) these were short term refuges during crisis and economic distress Almshouse in Maryland Almshouse in Lancaster, PA Emergence of Specialized Care Reformers deplored mixing of populations Reformatories for juvenile delinquents State orphanages for dependent children Institutions for mentally ill, mentally retarded, deaf and blind emerged Quest for Federal Help 1818 Revolutionary War Pension Act Some disaster aid forthcoming Public land given for asylums for “deaf and dumb” Dorothea Dix sought Federal land for states to build “insane asylums” 1854 Congress passed, and Pierce vetoed Pierce “I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States.” With few exceptions (native Americans, freed slaves) federal government stayed out of social welfare for many years Private aid Help the poor by improving their character Poor needed religion, morality, sobriety and industry 1843 New York Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor Middle class male volunteers, probably feared/hated the poor and wanted to transform them to middle class values Change in Attitude Encountered wretched living conditions in slums Found slum life to be an obstacle to morality Realized poor wages and unemployment were real problems Found jobs and gave aid A.I.C.P. Built “model tenements” Tried to clean slums and establish public health measures Finally argued that moral improvement depended on improving economic situation Wanted well planned relief Precursor to Charity Organization Societies Social Control? Did reformers “help” the poor as a way to control them and protect middle class, capitalist interests? Did philanthropists act to show off their exalted position in society? Or did they help for spiritual reasons, out of civic duty, cultural nationalism or true humanitarianism?