Rural Electrification Contemporary View: Carter Man

I looked at newdeal.feri.org to gain a basic understanding of the traditional view of rural electrification in the United States. According to the article, 90% of city dwellers had electricity by the 1930s compared to just 10% of people living in rural areas. It wasn’t convenient for utility companies to build power lines in rural areas because it was expensive to do so and often times the farmers couldn’t afford to have it done anyway. In any case, the costs outweighed the benefits. If private enterprise wouldn’t provide electricity to rural areas, then President Franklin Roosevelt determined that the government must. There was resistance from these same utility companies, who feared unfair competition from the government, and from Congress, who thought the Tennessee Valley Authority was a step towards socialism. Still rural electrification, with its purpose of increasing the standard of living and economic competitiveness of the family farm, was largely successful in providing electricity to the rural United States. Still, rural electrification didn’t solve all the problems of the rural United States, as people still continued to migrate to urban areas and the number of farms in rural areas continued to decline.

The source just tried to provide a quick overview of rural electrification. It demonstrated other aspects of rural electrification as well, but for the purposes of the assignment, I only looked at the summary of the traditional view of rural electrification.

I probably wouldn’t use this site as a source in a paper, but since I’m just supposed to find an account of the traditional view of rural electrification in the United States, I think this source is sufficient, as that is what it provides. It probably could have done more to explain the administration of rural electrification, but other than that it offers a solid summary.

Word Count: 300

“Rural Electrification,” newdeal.feri.org, accessed October 3, 2017, http://newdeal.feri.org/tva/tva10.htm.

  1 comment for “Rural Electrification Contemporary View: Carter Man

  1. hryan
    October 13, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    You say that the “costs” of rural electrification outweigh the “benefits.” But am I right in saying that this was the opinion of the power companies? I’d be curious to know what people living in rural areas thought of electricity. Were they fine without the added cost or did they feel left behind?
    -HR

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