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Tennessee Valley Authority

Franklin D Roosevelt

Tennessee Valley Authority: Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR) was the 32nd American President who served in office from March 4, 1933 to April 12 , 1945. One of the important events during his presidency was the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The law was passed as part of FDR's New Deal Programs that encompassed his strategies of Relief, Recovery and Reform to combat the problems and effects of the Great Depression.

Definition and Summary of the Tennessee Valley Authority
Summary and definition:
The Tennessee Valley Authority The purpose of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was to enable the Federal government to develop and distribute cheap hydroelectric power (electricity) into rural areas that were not served by private utilities.

The aims of the TVA were to modernize the region's infrastructure by dam building projects to improve the economic and social lives of rural people. There were many other benefits such as providing thousands of jobs during the Great Depression, providing irrigation, controlling floods and forest fires, the development of new agricultural methods, malaria prevention, improved navigation and conserving forestlands and wildlife.

What was the Purpose of the Tennessee Valley Authority? The purpose of the TVA to address a wide range of economic, environmental and technological issues, including the management of natural resources and the delivery of low-cost electricity

What were the Benefits of the Tennessee Valley Authority? The benefits of the TVA were to rejuvenate the region, controlling floods and conserving forestlands. The dam building projects provided thousands of jobs for unemployed men and a cheap source of electricity which in turn boosted electricity related industries

Facts about Tennessee Valley Authority
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Tennessee Valley Authority.

The TVA was created by Congress in 1933 as  a corporation of the U.S. government and the nation's largest public power provider.

On May 18, 1933, Congress passed the TVA Act as one of the measures taken during FDR's first one hundred days in office to combat the effects of the Great Depression.

The TVA Act tasked the new government agency to tackle important problems in the seven state region drained by the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers.

The seven states included Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. In the 1930's only 10% of rural dwellers had electricity

The TVA developed a massive project to build 20 dams in the region designed to control floods and conserve forestlands by reforesting millions of acres of land.

Many of the people who lived in the Tennessee Valley region had no electricity and farmers were suffering because the eroded soil where they grew their crops was poor and worn out. Crop yields had fallen along with farm incomes and the best timber had been cut. Many farmers were barely growing enough food to feed their families.

The dam building and replanting projects would address these problems. The TVA also developed new agricultural methods and fertilizers to help farmers grow more food

The ambitious and innovative dam building projects provided thousands of jobs for unemployed men during the Great Depression. The new dams would also provide a cheap source of electricity which in turn would boost electricity related businesses and industries

The government agency not only organized the building of the new dams but also built power plants and fertilizer factories.  The TVA strived to improve the habitats for wildlife and fish.

The dam building projects led to the creation of thousands of jobs. Each dam building project employed up to 40,000 workers.

Other responsibilities written in the TVA act included improving travel on the Tennessee River and helping develop the region's business and farming. The agency was able to conserved water power in the pumped-storage plants and generate and sell surplus electricity

The Norris Dam on the Clinch River was one of the first dams built by the TVA. The dam was named after Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska, the sponsor of the TVA. Senator Norris went on to be the prime supporter of the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, enacted on May 20, 1936, that provided federal loans for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve isolated rural areas of the United States.

FDR appointed a three-person board of directors to the TVA consisting of Arthur E. Morgan, David E. Lilienthal and Harcourt Morgan to nine-year renewable terms and confirmed by the Senate. The first chairman of the board was Arthur E. Morgan, a nationally known flood control engineer, Harcourt Morgan was an agricultural specialist and David E. Lilienthal was an American businessman and government official

Between 1933 and 1944 sixteen dams and a steam plant were constructed by the TVA. The dams controlled floods, improved navigation and generated electricity.

The TVA was one of the greatest successes of FDR's administration. The facilities of the Tennessee Valley Authority now provide electricity to 8 million homes via 29 hydroelectric dams, 3 nuclear power plants, 4 combustion turbine plants and 11 fossil-fuel plants

US American History
1929-1945: Depression & WW2

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