Chapter

Rich Land—Poor People

Ronald D Eller

in Uneven Ground

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780813125237
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135014 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125237.003.0002
Rich Land—Poor People

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This chapter deals with the economic conditions of Appalachia during World War II and the postwar period. It notes that Appalachia was still an overwhelmingly rural place, rich in natural beauty and the cultural heritage of the frontier, but had become a paradox on the American landscape, a rich land inhabited by poor people. Appalachia had been swept up by the tidal surge of industrialization that engulfed the United States in the years following the Civil War and experiencd unprecedented growth and economic change. During the depression, thousands of mountain families crowded together to subsist on poor land or to survive on the dole or on government work programs. Those who were able to return to their family farms were fortunate, for many who remained in the now-neglected coal camps faced unemployment, hunger, and disease.

Keywords: Appalachia; World War II; industrialization; United States; civil war; depression; work programs; unemployment; hunger; disease

Chapter.  16561 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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