Working out large-scale processes through close attention to local-level analysis remained central to Louise Tilly’s approach to social history. An ongoing commitment to agency and strategy undergirded her vision for a global history that made connections between large-scale processes across space, between human agency and structure, and between the past and present. Her vision remains an important influence in my coauthored comparative history of the welfare state in England, France, and the United States. This is illustrated by a discussion of unemployment policies in the three countries at one particular moment of crisis, the Great Depression, concentrating on the United States, where the Depression hit first and hit the hardest. Important differences in demography, the mobilization of ordinary citizens, the responsiveness of state structures to democratic pressure, and public attitudes about the legitimate role of government all affected the history of unemployment policy in each country.