The Pacific Northwest: Economic Impacts In The 20th Century

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Over the course of the 20th century the Pacific Northwest was largely shaped by events that occurred in both the national and international level. In the past the Pacific Northwest was a hinterland and therefore its economy was effected directly by events that occurred outside of the region. This trend continued during the 20th century as well; although the region was not a hinterland any more, it continued to grow and change based on events occurring outside of the region, whether it is global or within the nation. These events affected the region economically, through the depression and multiple wars occurring during this time, and socially through the removal of Japanese and the increased immigration of African Americans. All together these …show more content…
There was a lot of unemployment and the Northwest economy went stagnant. Many of the residents had to share their jobs and there was a reduction of work hours and wages, thus resulting in a lot of homelessness. During this time there were two very important senators, Jackson and Magnuson, known as the gold dust twins, who played a very important part in pushing the U.S. government to spend money on Washington for the benefit of both Washington and the nation as a whole. The new deal played a very important part in this region because many of the projects that were part of the new deal were done in the Pacific Northwest. Most of the projects were public works projects which benefited the region, its economy and gave the people jobs and money. One such project was the building of dams. President Roosevelt used the building of dams on the Columbia River as a means to provide jobs for the people of the U.S. and decrease the effects of the depression as well as a way to get cheap electricity. This project was very beneficial for the nation; it created many jobs and although it did not provide the amount of electricity they expected right afterwards, it was …show more content…
There was a lot of social tension during the World Wars and the Cold War towards African Americans and towards the Japanese. During the Great Depression there was a lot of discrimination against the Japanese because the Whites thought the Japanese were taking up all the jobs and therefore no one else could get any jobs. Policemen would arrest Japanese men on weak charges and with no proof, as seen in Nisei Daughter when Sone’s father was arrested on charges of selling liquor even when they could find no proof other than one person who claimed he bought liquor from him (Sone, 36). The resentment towards the Japanese Americans was so great that they were interned and sent out to Idaho. Even after World War II when Japanese Americans were allowed back into the region there was a lot of discrimination against them which was seen through the different signs and graffiti on buildings telling the Japanese that they were unwanted in the region. This same social tension was seen when the African Americans started arriving during the World Wars due to the increased amount of jobs in the region. The Whites had the mentality that they were superior to the African Americans and therefore there were many arguments and scuffles between the Whites and the Blacks. Many stores and restaurants posted signs stating that they “catered to Whites only”. This angered many Blacks and some of them went around and

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