Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act 42 Stat. 224 (1921)
SHEPPARD-TOWNER MATERNITY ACT 42 Stat. 224 (1921)
federal grants-in-aid to the states began in the mid-nineteenth century. As the federal government, in its new capacity as a welfare state, funded important social services, some congressmen and senators considered this form of federal spending socialistic and questioned its constitutionality.
In 1921, Congress passed the Maternity Act, a measure recommended by President warren g. harding, allocating funds to the states for health service for mothers and children, particularly in rural communities. This welfare measure sought to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Critics argued that federal funds could lawfully be spent only in connection with the enumerated powers of Congress, and they asserted that the grant-in-aid was a subtle method of extending federal power and usurping functions properly belonging to the states. Further, since the formal acceptance of such grants by state legislatures brought federal supervision and approval of the funded state activities, the measure placed too much potentially coercive power in the hands of federal bureaucracies.
The Supreme Court was asked to rule on the act's constitutionality in separate suits brought by a taxpayer and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Court did not rule on the merits in either case, holding that the state presented no justiciable controversy and that the taxpayer lacked standing to sue. (See taxpayer ' ssuits; frothingham v. mellon.) Still, many states refused to avail themselves of the provisions of the act, and Congress failed to renew it in 1929. Nonetheless, the projects of this period were a political precedent for much of the modern system of federally dispensed welfare.
Paul L. Murphy
Lemons, J. Stanley 1960 The Sheppard-Towner Act: Progressivism in the 1920's. Journal of American History 55:776–786.
"Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act 42 Stat. 224 (1921)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jan. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.
"Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act 42 Stat. 224 (1921)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 19, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sheppard-towner-maternity-act-42-stat-224-1921
"Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act 42 Stat. 224 (1921)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Retrieved January 19, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sheppard-towner-maternity-act-42-stat-224-1921
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.