This book describes the beginning and development of unemployment reform until the New Deal. As a consequence of large scale industrialization after the Civil War, joblessness could no longer be understood to be caused by a character defect, but had to be ascribed to societal forces. It became clear to the concerned that traditional remedial measures could not adequately cope with the problem. By the time of the entry of the United States into World War I reformist thinking had devised the major instruments that were later employed in dealing with unemployment. After the war and during most of the 1920s these instruments underwent thorough examination and refinement, and the early years of the Great Depression saw their tentative use. At the eve of the New Deal a well reasoned and experimentally tried group of social instruments was available. The book essentially refutes a social control explanation for this process and stresses the progressive motivation of the reformers involved.
Table of Contents
List of figures and tables; Abbreviations used in the text or footnotes; Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction; 2. Perceiving the problem: 1870s to the entry into World War I; 3. Nascence and growth of the USES: World War I; 4. Pondering the issues: post-war to the mid-1920s; 5. Accepting the task: 1928-33; 6. Epilogue; Appendix; Index.