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Summary 2000(2)


Maternity and Social Policies in the United States in the Period of the New Deal (Elisabetta Vezzosi)

Maternity and infancy welfare programma were no easy achievement in the USA. Policies of the Progressive Era aimed at indigent mothers were implemented only at State level. The first federal law granting medical assistance to mothers and children, the Sheppard-Towner Act, lived a short life from 1921 until 1929. Only during the New Deal period, in 1935, the Social Security Act created two federal programmes: Aid to Dependent Children, granting financial help to needy children, end Maternal and Child Welfare, providing children and mothers with medical mid. New Deal policies, as well as those of the Progressive Era, discriminated against single, black and immigrant mothers, also because the States were granted considerable autonomy in their implementation. In the Thirties, moreover, woman reformers who had advocated those policies since the Tens were gradually excluded from their management.

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