Essay about A Look At Life During the Great Depression

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The United States during the early decades of the 20th Century was a nation at the dawn of a transition politically, economically and socially in the United State. It is during this time that the relationship between employers, employees, and the United States government would change dramatically. The United States by the mid-1930's will see the federal government assume a greater role in the business and personal lives of its citizens. Lizabeth Cohen's book Making A New Deal and Jennifer Klein's book For All These Rights discuss these transformations within the United States during this time period. These two authors wrote two different social histories of this era but the historical approach taken by these two authors differs in …show more content…
Klein spends most of her book discussing the impact of government legislation and policies on companies. Her book discusses the insurance industry and the corporate reaction and interpretation to these changes. A major difference between the two authors is their approach to welfare capitalism and its impact on workers. According to Cohen, employers during the early 20th Century believed that "Workers had to be driven to labor efficiently and respect the boss's authority." During the 1920's employers sought to change this relationship with employees to satisfy worker complaints, quell the fear of labor militancy, and to prevent unions from entering into corporations during the 1920's. Welfare capitalism helped to create an "enlightened corporation." These enlightened corporations created a variety of programs to assist workers. The programs included employee representations programs, development of personnel and human resource functions, wage incentive programs, life insurance, disability coverage, vacation days and sick days. This is only a small sample of the programs offered to employees. This did not occur according to Cohen. Workers

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