The Social Security Act, designed as a "safety net" for the elderly deprived of pension savings by the failure of the banking system, was born during this "New Deal." It was a period of unprecedented federal incursion into every aspect of states' rights control over their own destinies.
From the New Deal on, until recently, the standard was set for federal precedence over states' rights on most aspects of social welfare and economic policy, to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the personality of the president. Roosevelt's latter years in office were dominated by World War II, and his successor Harry Truman was too weak politically to have much attention to spare the states. Generally hands-off in terms of micro-management issues of governance, Dwight Eisenhower (president 1953-60) chose to use the military to extend federal power into state-level education by enforcing a Supreme Court decision to desegregate a Little Rock, Arkansas public high school in 1957. Federalists among his own Republican Party protested at the intrusion, but not too much: states were more than happy to let Eisenhower's massive, federally-funded highway expansion program usurp some of their transportation responsibilities. So, too, in the 1960s did state governments have mixed feelings about Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" appropriation of states' rights control over welfare. The states naturally resented federal imposition of its will upon the local government - but, as long as the federal government was also footing the majority of the bill, federalists were not in a position to complain very loudly. Civil rights concern was almost totally given over to Washington's control. Health care, at least for the elderly in the Medicare program, was also deigned a federal matter.
Attitudes began to change in the early 1970s, when the great economic boom of the post-World War II era began to slide into a Vietnam war-inspired economic slowdown. Rep...
From State's Rights to Federalism. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 17:27, December 18, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303638873.html