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Uneven GroundAppalachia since 1945$
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Ronald D Eller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125237

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125237.001.0001

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Rich Land—Poor People

Rich Land—Poor People

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 Rich Land—Poor People
Source:
Uneven Ground
Author(s):

Ronald D Eller

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813125237.003.0002

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

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