Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Award/Availability

Open Access Thesis

Keywords

Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--History; Occupational training--Government policy--United States--History--20th century;

Abstract

The Great Depression brought about a trial the likes of which the United States had never seen. People from all walks of life found themselves out of work, money, and hope. The depression effected all peoples but each group differently. The working class underwent deeper hardships then most. The New Deal was the brainchild of President Franklin Roosevelt designed to assist the country in getting out of the Great Depression. The New Deal programs included a number of public works programs, which created jobs for the unemployed, including the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was designed to employ unemployed working class young men. Historians have argued that this particular program had two main goals: first, to provide jobs for unemployed young men; and second, to conserve the nation’s natural resources. This study focuses on a third important goal that scholars have largely overlooked: education. The CCC established a comprehensive educational program that included a broad range of vocational and academic coursework, as well as classes and training in manners, morals and citizenship. This broad focus suggests that the goal of the CCC was not just about employing working-class youth and giving them some job training to help them obtain permanent jobs in the future. The educational programs encouraged academic study at the high school and college level, much of the vocational training was for white collar employment. The training in manners and morals taught the men of the CCC to speak and act in ways that were identified with middle class culture. All of this suggests that the educational programs of the CCC were geared toward turning these young working class men into members of the middle class. They suggest that the CCC was about more than unemployment relief, it was also about democratic uplift: an attempt to expand the American middle class. This thesis will utilize primary sources in three regionally different CCC camps: Company 1370 from Virginia, Company 1708 from Arkansas, and Company 2732 from Nebraska. The camp newspapers will provide the day to day information in each camp on the types and promotions of the different aspects of the education program.

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Department of History

First Advisor

Barbara Cutter

Date Original

2014

Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 111 pages)

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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