Developing the American Economy Theme Study

What are National Historic Landmark Theme Studies?

National Historic Landmarks are often identified through theme studies.Theme studies are an effective way of identifying and nominating properties because they provide a comparative analysis of properties associated with a specific area of American history, such as the fur trade, earliest Americans, women's history, Greek Revival architecture, Man in Space, or labor history. Theme studies provide a national historic context for specific topics in American history or prehistory. In order to make the case for national significance, a theme study must provide that necessary national historic context so that national significance may be judged for a number of related properties.

Theme studies related to the theme 'Developing the American Economy':

American Labor History: This study identifies key sites that commemorate the history of American laborers and their activities, the impact of industrial and technological change, and the contributions of workers to the country's development. The essays show how labor history can identify potential National Historic Landmarks against the complex backdrop of civil rights, race, gender, and democracy. An overview is provided with the intent that additional research will yield new chapters illustrated by authentic places in labor's continuing story.

The History of Large Federal Dams: Planning, Design, and Construction in the Era of Big Dams:Together, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers have built the vast majority of major federal dams in the United States. This theme study explores the story of federal contributions to dam planning, design, and construction by carefully selecting those dams and river systems that seem particularly critical to the story.This context addresses the US' management of water resources, which has had an enormous influence in transforming the environment and fostering economic development.

WWII and the American Home Front (.pdf | 7.2MB): This theme study provides a national context for identifying historic places that best represent wartime mobilization that occurred in the US between 1939 and 1945.This history explores the impact of mobilization in driving down Depression era unemployment numbers by bringing millions of men and women into the workforce and transforming the middle class.

Last updated: March 29, 2018

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