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Library Research Award

First Advisor

Dr. Brandon Marsh


When considering documents to compare to the Beveridge Plan, a report renowned for establishing the British Welfare State, the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill is unlikely to come first to mind. In fact, it is often overlooked in secondary literature. However, an overview of primary sources indicates that the two are particularly connected. With the Beveridge Plan published in 1942 and the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill first introduced to the American Senate in 1943, both originated from the World War II era. In their proposals, their reception, and outcomes, both serve as illustrations of the course welfare development took in their respective nations. When examined in the context of each nation’s history of welfare development each serves as a lens by which the resulting welfare systems can be compared. In their content, both proposals called for extended and nationalized social security. In both cases, universal healthcare became a topic of concentrated focus. In their reception and application (or lack thereof) the Beveridge Plan and Wagner Bill revealed the forces at play that shaped the social insurance systems of each nation. In Britain, Labour successfully led the postwar Progressive movement, building off a history of past reforms. In America, conflicting interest groups stalled attempts at reform that perpetuated its exceptionalism in the realm of welfare development.


Library Research Award 2023, First Place

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