Spring 2012

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Kimberly Jensen


The poorhouse was America’s early welfare institution. This article focuses on the early history of the poorhouse used as a punitive measure to deter poverty and later reform attempts during the Progressive Era. However, it soon became clear that reform efforts could not deter or control the socioeconomic conditions that were driving poverty at that time. This article also looks at society’s early beliefs about poverty and its causes, how those beliefs changed over time, but still remained a contentious topic for many.

Document Type


PDF-A The Poorhouse_ Institutionalization of the Poor.pdf (402 kB)
PDF/A Version