Alabama’s Civilian Conservation Corps: The Political, Social, and Economic Impacts of Roosevelt’s Tree Army

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Southern New Hampshire University
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of the most successful New Deal programs in the state of Alabama, yet little research exists that explores the social, economic, and political impact its existence had across the state. Even less historical literature exists that discusses the experiences of the Black community and the influence of segregation in the implementation of the CCC in Alabama. The CCC not only challenged political and social standards that perpetuated racial prejudice, but it also provided substantial economic relief to many Alabamians and created a legacy of environmental and natural resource sustainability and appreciation. This project will provide a much-needed addition to both state history and Black history and will broaden the current literature on the CCC nationally. The chapters contained in this project provide contextual and foundational narratives, explain the impact of the CCC from social, political, and economic perspectives, and survey the implications of the program in relation to its impact on the Black community. Throughout the research process, a variety of primary and secondary sources were consulted to ensure that a comprehensive perspective of the CCC in Alabama is communicated effectively. Each of the sources have been audited for credibility, reliability, bias, argument strength, and use of primary source material. Each source was also evaluated in terms of perspective and historical lenses used to state their arguments, as well as relevancy to the topic of this project. Sources that vary from or even contradict the argument this project intends to make were not eliminated from the selected source materials. Including these sources potentially eliminates any misinterpretation or exclusion of primary materials that may alter the expected outcome of this research project. Ultimately, this research project seeks to fill a gap in the current historiography of the CCC in Alabama which is limited and excludes the perspectives of Black corpsmen.