Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

History and Philosophy


Regarded as one of the greatest struggles in American history, the Great Depression was a catalyst not only for economic change but also political change. The defeat of Hoover in 1,932 was one of the largest margins of victory by a Democratic presidential candidate ever seen. The victory of Franklin D. Roosevelt brought change to a nation struggling with unemployment. The efforts of the Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Public Works Administration, along with numerous other employment programs, helped put people back to work. More importantly, though, these public works projects ranged from the improvement of roads and preservation of forests to writing and theater projects. Most often, people associate the jobs created by the public works projects as aid to blue collar workers. However, that was not the case. The jobs created by Roosevelt's programs helped people who had lost white collar jobs and even artists. Additionally, the size of these projects could be as small as a community garden and as large as the Hoover Dam. In a time of need for almost everyone, these projects helped prevent the economy and unemployment from catastrophically increasing further. One of the hardest hit states during the Great Depression was Michigan. Michigan's eclectic mix of industries and people make it one of the most difficult states to pin down and understand as a whole during the Great Depression. Different regions voted differently and focused on different issues. Furthermore, political allegiance varied from region to region.