Jill R. Foley

Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Kenneth Ambrose

Second Advisor

Richard Garnett

Third Advisor

Frederick Roth


Throughout America’s history, various welfare assistance programs have been implemented in an attempt to prevent the poor from coordinating a social uprising to overturn capitalism. Applying sociologist Karl Marx’s theories on capitalism and the presence of a false versus a class consciousness one can trace the growth of industrialization in American with the increasing efforts devoted to subduing the impoverished. Actions ranging from the imprisonment of the poor to child saving in the 1700 and 1800s to the use of police force to dissipate uprisings of the indigent in the 1900s provide evidence of the government's continued efforts to prevent both capitalism and its benefactors. This thesis employs the use of a historical comparative method of research to examine the American public's-particularly the government's-attitude toward the impoverished and the actions taken to prevent the poor from disrupting the capitalistic system.


Public welfare - Sociological aspects.

Poor - United States.