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The American welfare system can be traced back as far as the colonization of America yet the true state of the welfare system did not bloom until the 1930s One must investigate Americas history in order to understand how Americans have formed their view of welfare today Through the examination of the birth of America and its progression one can see that the welfare system has constantly been at the base of American living There has always been a difference in the economical conditions of families Those who were not as well off financially as others received aid whether it was from families or local charities From the time the first settlers came to Americas east coast a welfare state was created America has always seemed to be the land of wealth opportunity and freedom so it is no surprise that many of the immigrant who first sailed across the Atlantic to escape English rule were also doing so to escape poverty As more people immigrated to the United States it became apparent to each colonial town that something had to be done to help those who could not help themselves The first welfare law stemmed from the English poor laws of 1601 for that was all the settlers knew Therefore it was decided that each family was responsible for those family members that could not care for themselves If the person living in poverty did not have living family then local parishes or individuals such as doctors would assist them and provide relief However this aid was not given for free the doctors that assisted the poor received tax breaks for their services Seventeenth centaury Americans saw need as a way of life They believed that God had placed people in the financial situation that they lived Thus poverty was an opportunity for men to do good and help one another out Chaltain 1995 A lot of emphasis was placed on God and
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