[2015] Dawit Rebecca (Watson Period 2): Works Progress Administration

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by fmhs2
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
American History
Grade:
11

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[2015] Dawit Rebecca (Watson Period 2): Works Progress Administration

So many people were out of work so Franklin Roosevelt and members of congress responded by creating the Works Progress Administration (also known as the WPA) which became one of the largest new deal agency. The WPA employed million of unemployed people to do public works projects. The workers would do various things like build roads, bridges, schools, court houses, hospitals, sidewalks and post offices. The WPA was also used to improved old infrastructure that was already built. The WPA usually hired unskilled men.

What happened to the WPA?

Important people that were part of the WPA was FDR, who founded the WPA. Another important person that was a part of the WPA was Harry Hopkins, he was the head of the program. Hopkins was great at creating programs that were targeted towards the issue of unemployment. He headed many emergency relief efforts during FDR's term. Harry Hopkins was a former social worker and friend of FDR. He was also part of FDR's "Brain Trust". Hopkins also created the National Youth Administration (NYA) for young people, and Federal One Project which dealt with art, music, theatre, writing and historians both of these projects were created as another part to the WPA.

The Works Progress Administration was renamed to the Works Projects Administration. The WPA's funding was dwindling, this led to the diminishing of projects. During World War II the WPA focused things related to war efforts. The WPA diverted its resources from constructing infrastructure to overseas destructions. Unemployment declined when WWII production started since this led to an increase in available jobs. Also there were a lot of men off to war so that also led to an increase of job available. The WPA ended on June 30, 1943 since it was no longer needed since there was a high demand for workers because of WWII. But Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 transferred control of the WPA art project to the General Services Administration (GSA).

Goals/ Success

The goal of the WPA was to employ many people that were unemployed during the Great Depression. Another goal was to improve and create new buildings. The third goal of the WPA was to preserve the skills that workers learned in previous jobs they no longer had and to develop/maintain the worker's self-esteem during these hard times.The WPA was successful since it employed more than 8.5 million people. The WPA was able to construct 650,000 miles of roads; 125,000 public buildings; 75,000 bridges; 8,000 parks; and 800 airports. The WPA was also able to hire many white-collar workers. One of the most famous WPA projects was probably related to art. The WPA hired hundreds of artists, writers, and actors to work on things like murals, documentaries and community theatre. Artists were able to preserve culture by documenting the depression through art. Artists also made propaganda posters. The WPA was even able to reach younger people that needed a job through the National Youth Administration.

Citations

"Works Progress Administration." American Government. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. "The Works Progress Administration (WPA)." PBS. WGBH. 2015. Web. 30Mar.2015.Gjenvick, Paul K. "Letter by Harry L. Hopkins - 1936." GGArchives. 28 May.2006. Web. 31 Mar.2015.The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica."Works Progress Administration (WPA)." Encyclopædia Britannica.Encyclopædia Britannica. 10April. 2014. 30Mar. 2015.

What is the WPA

Leaders/ Important Participants

Works Progress Administration

WPA (Works Progress Administration) - 1937

Primary source quotes

"No employee of the Works Progress Administration, either administrative or engaged on a project, is required to make any contribution to any political party.”"No person shall be employed or discharged by the Works Progress Administration on the ground of his support or nonsupport of any candidate of any Political organization.” These quotes from Harry Hopkin's letter to all state works progress administrators showed that this project wouldn't be used to, manipulate the workers into supporting the president. He wanted to affirm the idea that this project was only created to try to help people in needed of a job.


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