Rural Technologies: Rural Electrification and Land Use in the 1930s

April 14, 2022 ~ 7:30pm ET
Eric Rauchway, University of California, Davis

“The greatest peaceable expression of common purpose in U.S. history, the New Deal altered Americans' relationship with politics, economics, and one another in ways that continue to resonate today.” (Why the New Deal Matters)

Created in 1933 to foster economic development in the region, The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) became a federally owned and operated electric utility company serving one of the poorest regions of the country. Farming practices had exhausted the soil, continually reducing crops and income. The TVA made an immediate impact in the region by modernizing farming techniques, providing a reliable supply of water, and offering affordable electricity. Not all of the TVA’s contributions were positive, however. Construction of the Norris Dam in Tennessee, for example, required the displacement of more than 125,000 people. Join Professor Rauschway as he discusses the complex legacy of the New Deal and rural technologies.