Type of Document Thesis Author Brock, Julia K Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-07112005-141456 Title Creating Consumers: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Rocky Mountain National Park Degree Master of Arts Department History, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Frederick Davis Committee Chair Olaf Stieglitz Committee Member Suzanne Sinke Committee Member V.J. Conner Committee Member Keywords
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Civilian Conservation Corps
- The New Deal
Date of Defense 2005-06-27 Availability unrestricted AbstractPresident Franklin Roosevelt created the CCC in 1933 as part of a series of New Deal legislation. Like other byproducts of the “first hundred days,” Roosevelt and his administration intended the Corps to be a stimulant for the depressed economy. As historian Alan Brinkley argued, the early efforts of the New Deal were largely experimental, seeking to alleviate the wrecked economy, but also to reform the existing capitalist system. The CCC, like the other programs, was created by a breadth of government intervention that was, at the time, unprecedented. But unlike other programs that sought reform of institutions, the Corps sought reform of a particular demographic. And unlike other New Deal programs that created strong interest groups among previously weak political constituencies– workers, farmers, and women – the CCC sought to transform the lower-class young male enrollees into capitalist functionaries.
Using Rocky Mountain National Park as a case study, the following thesis seeks to extend beyond the uncritical, oft-used narrative of the CCC as beneficent social tool and examine it through experiences of administrators, enrollees, and the landscape that played a central role in its existence. Through vocational and civic educational programs, a monthly paycheck, National Park work programs, and by incorporating perceived transforming aspects of the mountainous landscape, the CCC administration attempted to inculcate the enrollees into a specific, classist ideal of a male “citizen” – a male breadwinner who aided the nation through his ability to provide for and act as the primary consumer of his family unit. Although consumption habits of CCC enrollees remain elusive, it is clear by examining enrollee reactions that, among other things, they valued their newfound ability to spend freely and understood the leverage gained in local communities by their consumption habits.
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