Date of Award

1965

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Economics

Abstract

The story of the Tennessee Valley Authority is a story about a great American river basin; it is a story about water and soils and forests on mountain slopes; it is a story about people who grow cotton and corn, milk dairy cows, cut timber, and work as clerks in country stories; it is a story of local government, community institutions, and a thousand facets of private economic enterprise all working together in developing and using the natural resources of a region; it is a story about the application of large-scale planning and coordination in the solution of problems; it is a story of how the potential of a mighty river was harnessed and put to work to make life better for the people who live in its basin. The unifying factor of the entire operation is the application of knowledge and skill in resources use. The depth of soil on the ridges and valleys was not changed by TVA; no minerals were added to the deposits on the surface of the land and beneath it; no changes were made in the total amount of water in the region; and no new sections of forest land appeared with the coming of TVA. All the natural resources that were in the region after TVA was created were there before. The new factors that were added were planning, intelligence, and the capital needed to make intelligence effective in resource use.

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