The Historical Background to Social Security
The Social Security Act (Act of August 14, 1935) [H. R. 7260] PREAMBLEAn act to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue; and for other purposes.
This is the preamble for the Social Security Act of 1935. This new law began the program we know as Social Security. The background for the genesis of this program is extensive, as social reformers in America had worked for a long time to try to get the United States government to do something to help the elderly and the poor. While many Americans realize that the Social Security Act was a cornerstone of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program, and the grinding poverty of the Great Depression, what is often forgotten is that the foundation for this radical new law was decades in the making. This website will attempt to explain the historical and political background of Social Security and compare it with the present troubles the SSA faces.