Creating a "different citizen": the federal development of the Tennessee Valley, 1915-1960

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dc.contributor Beito, David T.
dc.contributor Coclanis, Peter A.
dc.contributor Dorr, Lisa Lindquist
dc.contributor Rable, George C.
dc.contributor.advisor Frederickson, Kari A.
dc.contributor.author Downs, Matthew L.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-02-28T22:25:03Z
dc.date.available 2017-02-28T22:25:03Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000242
dc.identifier.other Downs_alatus_0004D_10290
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/748
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract This dissertation describes the process of cooperation and contestation by which residents, civic leaders, state officials, and federal politicians in the Tennessee Valley encouraged the economic development of their rapidly changing region. Beginning in 1916, when the Woodrow Wilson administration authorized construction of a hydroelectric dam and nitrate-producing plants at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, federal investment provided the means by which communities created (or attempted to create) prosperity by encouraging industrial development in a dying agricultural economy. The debates over Muscle Shoals led to the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority, but federal officials found that Valley residents rejected broad-based social reorganization in favor of directed economic investment. During the "Gunbelt" defense boom of World War II, Valley leaders increased calls for development, especially at Huntsville, where the inconsistency of federal funds led community leaders to develop a modern, professional industrial recruitment campaign. In the Tennessee Valley, and across the South, the Sunbelt economy emerged as locals encouraged federal investment in order to bring development while rejecting and redirecting broader calls for social change. Historians have only recently begun to investigate the complicated process by which the southern economy modernized in the twentieth century, but none have provided an in-depth exploration of the long-term growth of one particular region, such as the Tennessee Valley. Drawing on local records, numerous Valley newspapers, and federal records, this dissertation traces the process by which Valley residents attempted to attract industries and businesses to the region. As such, this research provides insight into the birth of the modern southern economy.
dc.format.extent 468 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other History, United States
dc.subject.other Economics, History
dc.title Creating a "different citizen": the federal development of the Tennessee Valley, 1915-1960
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of History
etdms.degree.discipline History
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level doctoral
etdms.degree.name Ph.D.


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