Award Date

5-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

First Committee Member

Eugene Moehring. Chair

Second Committee Member

Greg Hise

Third Committee Member

Andrew Kirk

Fourth Committee Member

David Wrobel

Graduate Faculty Representative

Len Zane

Number of Pages

160

Abstract

This thesis traces the transformation of two cities in the American West: Albuquerque, a medium-sized metropolitan area in the generally low-population state of New Mexico, and Livermore, California, a relatively small town on the fringe of the massive San Francisco Bay Area metropolis. The federal government built nuclear weapons labs in both places after World War II, and as a result, they encountered phenomenal growth. This is not surprising, as authors such as Peter Hall and Ann Markusen have argued that federal installations in the postwar years affected the economies of many western cities. However, this thesis asserts that rural areas in the West were impacted as well. Examination of both of these cities showcases how the military-industrial complex in the postwar years affected local identities and economies. In particular, it provides case studies to better understand the issue of federal dependency in the West.

Keywords

Albuquerque; New Mexico; Company towns; Defense contracts; Demographics; Dependency; Economy; Federal government; Livermore; California; Military-industrial complex; Military research; Nuclear industry; Population growth; Slow growth movements; Urban growth; Western United States

Disciplines

History | United States History | Urban Studies

Language

English


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