Tennessee, state, United States: The TVA and an Expanded Economy
The TVA and an Expanded Economy
One of the most important events in Tennessee since the Civil War was the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933. Although opposed by private power companies, the TVA succeeded in providing hydroelectric power cheaply and in abundance, bringing modern comforts to thousands. Over the years its programs expanded and were supplemented by other projects for water-resources development. Most important, the TVA was chiefly responsible for the basic change in the state's economy from agriculture to industry and for the significant growth and diversification of industry, especially during and after World War II. The TVA also came to be associated with atomic energy, for it provides the power for Oak Ridge, one of the sources of production of the constituents for the first atomic bombs.
Since the late 1970s there has been significant growth in the service, trade, and finance sectors of the state economy and Tennessee has been very aggressive in attracting new industry. Many of the firms that have been setting up new factories and distribution centers in Tennessee come from America's northern industrial states and from Japan.
The last Democrat to serve as the state's governor was Phil Bredesen (2003-11), and was followed by Republicans Bill Haslam (2011-19) and Bill Lee (2018- ). Haslam instituted free community college tuition for two years in the state; Lee has pursued a more conservative agenda.
Sections in this article:
- The TVA and an Expanded Economy
- Industrialization, Prohibition, and the Scopes Trial
- The Civil War and Reconstruction
- The Early Nineteenth Century
- The American Revolution and Statehood
- Early History
- Government, Politics, and Higher Education
- Facts and Figures
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