Rural Electrification Adminstration
By Sierra Epke
Rural electrification was based on the belief that bringing electricity to rural areas would improve the quality of life. Then with better standards of living economic competitiveness would improve in the rural areas.
During the 1930s only about 10 percent of rural areas had electricity. Private companies argued it was too expensive and farmers were to poor to string lines across the country. The Roosevelt administration believed if private companies would not do it, the government should. Many argued that it was not constitutional that the government was interfering. But by 1939 over 25 percent of rural people had power. With electricity came the purchase of new appliances that helped local manufacturers.
The act was proposed by John E. Rankin and George William Norris, who was a senator from Nebraska. One of the first Rural Electrification Districts was in Gage County Nebraska.
The Rural Electrification Administration was important because it brought new technologies and methods to farm practices. Rural electrification cost the U.S. Government $210 million dollars at a cost of $950 per house.
The New Deal was important because it created many jobs and helped the American people out of the Depression. Without it we might not have made it out of the Great Depression.