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Week Thirteen: New Deal for the Northwest

After last week’s discussion of economic devastation in the Depression, we turn this week to the attempts to ameliorate the suffering caused by that devastation.  In his Lecture (approximately 53 minutes), Jeff Wiltse discusses the New Deal on the national level as well as the impacts of the New Deal in the Northwest.

Maps & Cityscapes presents information about and images of various New Deal “alphabet agencies” and the work they did in our area.  Tribal Perspectives presents WPA posters created using images of Indian art, and displayed at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939.  People and the Humanities tells the story of Idaho Writer’s Project director and atheist author Vardis Fisher, offers a list of key New Deal figures in our area, and presents images of the Post Office Murals project, while Research lists our top books and films.

Assignment suggestions for this week’s content include:

  • How has the role of government changed over the course of American history?  How have previous generations understood the role of government in the lives of individuals and particularly their economic welfare?  Do other countries and cultures conceive of this relationship differently?
  • Does government support of art projects change the art that is produced?  Should the government be involved in artistic production?  
  • Given that the Great Depression was a global event, consider comparing the ways different governments responded to the crisis.   


CCC road construction in Montana.