Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mitchell, Mary N.

Second Advisor

Dupont, Robert L.

Third Advisor

Hirsch, Arnold R.


The Works Progress Administration came to New Orleans in 1935, a time of economic uncertainty and even fear. The implementation of the relief embodied in the WPA was influenced by local factors that reinforced the existing social order at first but that left a framework through which that order could be challenged. The business of providing WPA relief also was attended by scandal and criticism. In spite of these inherent weaknesses and certain incident, the WPA left behind an enviable physical legacy that is used and enjoyed today by the citizens of New Orleans. This paper explores the roots of that legacy, some of the obstacles faced by the WPA, and how a local government, and its citizens, related and adjusted to an increasingly powerful and intrusive federal government.


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