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80th anniversary of stock market crash; DU expert available

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

University of Denver History Professor comments on FDR’s programs


DENVER— University of Denver History Professor Susan Schulten says President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration introduced several programs which fundamentally altered the place of government in the economy.

“We still passionately argue over the federal government’s role in our lives–the stimulus bill and federal regulation are only the latest in an ongoing debate that began in the 1930s,” Schulten says. “This anniversary is an opportunity to discuss these critical ideas and to consider the relevance of the 1930s for our own lives.”

The New Deal programs were put in place after the stock market crash, Oct. 24, 1929. The following week, widespread panic set in and Tuesday, Oct. 29 became known as Black Tuesday.

While they were unsuccessful in ending the Great Depression, the New Deal programs were popular, especially the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC).

“The CCC was among the first attempts in the Great Depression to ameliorate the effects of capitalism and involve the government in public works,” she says.

The CCC paid the unemployed to work, it involved the government directly in conservation and public works on a significant scale, and it directly addressed the problem of young unemployed men.

“It was a turning point in the modern environmental movement, for it hinged on the concept of ecological balance as a response to the devastation wrought by the Great Flood of 1927 and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s,” Schulten says.

Schulten came to DU after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. She teaches courses in United States history, including the Civil War and Reconstruction, Lincoln, American intellectual and cultural history, the Great Depression, the culture and politics of the Cold War, the American West and historiography.

Her book, The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880-1950 (University of Chicago Press), examines the place of geographical knowledge in American life during the nation’s rise to international stewardship.


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Contact:  Kristal Griffith
Phone: (303) 871-4117

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