Chapter

Pursuing the Promise of the New Deal

in Puerto Rican Citizen

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780226796086
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226796109 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226796109.003.0004
Pursuing the Promise of the New Deal

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During the worst years of the Great Depression, many Puerto Rican migrants, barely scraping by, focused only on feeding their families, on their next paycheck or next job—or a threatened eviction—and paid little attention to labor politics, much less to electoral politics. Not that migrants as a group lacked an interest in politics: many of them closely followed, and sometimes participated in, the turbulent elections, bitter political rivalries, and rancorous ideological battles of their homeland. By the early 1930s, though, colonia leftists had an easy time convincing their compatriots of the importance of everyday political struggles. The Depression itself was motivating thousands of migrants to focus on local issues, and the promise of New Deal politics changed many migrants' minds about the payoffs of political participation at the local level.

Keywords: Puerto Rican migrants; migration; Depression; political participation; New Deal politics

Chapter.  17298 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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