The Civilian Conservation Corps And The Tennessee Valley Authority

1713 words - 7 pages

The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Tennessee Valley Authority had positive impacts on work and the environment during the great depression. The bill proposing the Civilian Conservation Corps was voted on and passed on March 31, 1933 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In addition, the Tennessee Valley Authority was formed May 18 of this same year to work on easing environmental strains in the Tennessee Valley. Roosevelt’s goal when he became president was to improve the economy and environment, and to help raise America from the depression. When he had been governor of New York he had created a public works program similar to the TVA on a smaller scale and it had been met with success. As a result he was encouraged to expand that idea to the Tennessee Valley. The TVA was able to hire many people and remain largely self-sufficient by selling electricity to millions of people in the surrounding area. The selling of electricity was made possible by the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), which prevented monopolies through public ownership by the government. These programs continued to be very successful throughout the Great Depression and on August 31, 1935, the number of workers in the CCC reached its peak. As the depression ended and more jobs became readily available, the programs started to become less popular, and in 1940 the CCC officially ended.Despite the program’s popularity, the TVA’s constitutionality was called into question in the 1936 supreme court case Ashwander vs. Tennessee Valley Authority. The TVA was declared constitutional a few months after the accusations (Shlaes 238), 208. A few years after the CCC had, the TVA reached its peak of production having more than 28,000 people working on various construction projects. Overall, the TVA was more successful than the CCC in creating jobs for the unemployed, helping the environment, and creating a lasting influence, because it affected more land and people.

The TVA was more successful in creating jobs for a vast number unemployed Americans by creating new programs and improving the economy. Jobs in the CCC were offered almost exclusively to young white males between the ages of 18 and 25; on occasion being offered to war veterans, African-Americans, and Native Americans (Pfaff 6, 12-13,15). Employment to the TVA, however, could be offered to most adult males in need of a job. The unemployment rate during the Great Depression soared part 20% leaving millions of people without jobs. The creation of the TVA allowed the government to hire some of the nation's abundant men who had been unable to find a employment due to the economic collapse. Some argued that the TVA interfered with the efforts of private utility companies to provide the South with electricity. The utility companies decided to wait to invest in southern power until after .Roosevelt's term ended . As a result the already unstable economy was unable to start to improve, and was instead depressed...

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