Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


College of Urban and Public Affairs

Major Professor

Gladstone, David

Second Advisor

Haughey, Patrick


The story of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania from 1747 to 2006 is at the same time a look into the economic, political, and social aspects of America. From the birth of the American Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century, Nanticoke played an important role in the economic health of the country. Profits from capital investment brought great wealth to the elite of the Wyoming Valley and financiers in New York and Philadelphia. The use of immigrant labor to maintain labor costs would presage corporate use of other groups. With the change in technology and the movement of capital elsewhere, Nanticoke faced the trauma of economic hardship and the need to address the human and social cost of the loss of coal mining. The actions taken by the local leadership failed to meet the challenge. Confronting the harsh reality of possible further decline, the community of Nanticoke must take action upon a plan that holds out a possibility of stopping the hemorrhage of its decline, and perhaps even begin a recovery. The people of Nanticoke and their problems are now one being repeated elsewhere in America. The questions raised by what happened in Nanticoke lie at the core of the economic, political, and social questions facing the United States today. Corporate responsibility, quality of life, immigration, and effective urban planning are just some of the issues that Nanticoke's story poses for the rest of America.


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