San Joaquin Valley Case Study

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During the 1930’s, the San Joaquin Valley was experiencing a flood of migrants from the Great Plains due to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The county governments in the valley specifically Kern Country, which banned The Grapes of Wrath from county libraries, weren’t pleased about the sudden influx of migrants and the subsequent increase of county spending it caused.1 Even though New Deal programs were helping alleviate the valley’s humanitarian crisis by helping migrants escape the squalor with hygienic labor farms, valley newspapers criticized the programs as a waste.2 The San Joaquin Valley benefited heavily from New Deal programs that stimulated the valley’s economy, dealt with the migrant crisis, and built up infrastructure that…show more content…
The New Deal extended beyond economic stimulus by also providing Kern County with the opportunity to build levees to prevent flooding from the Kern River.3
Despite the differences in opinion on the success of the overall New Deal, most scholars recognize that it had far-reaching impacts that shaped future American economic policy.4 The New Deal set future policies of increased government spending during economic downturns for the coming decades. The Second World War confirmed these ideas to Keynesian economists when the country saw more government spending on a wider scale having a huge stimulus to the economy.
The approach I’ll be taking in my research will be that the New Deal largely had positive outcomes for the valley. I’ll be using primary sources from local papers because papers like The Bakersfield Californian have opinion articles during the implementations of public work
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