Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




While studying the Great Depression's impact on the United States in a graduate se.minar, the period of 1933 and Roosevelt 's New Deal programs for the unemployed appeared to mark a major dividing point in attitude toward public treatment of the unemployed. Searching for a way to investigate this idea, I began a study of Richmond, Virginia, to determine whether Richmond's experience with unemployment during the depression had resulted in any lasting changes in its view of unemployment relief. The method chosen was a chronological study of unemployment relief in Richmond from 1929 to 1935 to accomplish the following purposes: to determine the severity of unemployment, to identify the methods used by private and public agencies to relieve un­ employment, to see how the New Deal was implemented in Richmond, and to identify any changes brought about by these experiences.

Limits were set in both time and purpose because of the magnitude of the subject. The study began with 1929 to establish a point for comparison by evaluating Richmond's attitude toward unemployment relief at the beginning of the depression and by determining the extent of unemployment at that time. The chronological study ended with 1935, the year the Federal Government withdrew from direct aid to the unemployed. The scope of this paper extended beyond 1935 only in areas felt to be direct results of Richmond' s experiences in that time span.

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