Rivers by Design State Power and the Origins of U. S. Flood Control

ISBN-10: 0822337738

ISBN-13: 9780822337737

Edition: 2006 (Annotated)

Authors: Karen M. O'Neill
List price: $26.95 Buy it from $13.75
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Description: The United States has one of the largest and costliest flood control systems in the world, even though only a small proportion of its land lies in floodplains. "Rivers by Design" traces the emergence of the mammoth U.S. flood management system, which is overseen by the federal government but implemented in conjunction with state governments and local contractors and levee districts. Karen M. O'Neill analyzes the social origins of the flood control program, showing how the system initially developed as a response to the demands of farmers and the business elite in outlying territories. The configuration of the current system continues to reflect decisions made in the nineteenth century and early twentieth. It favors economic development at the expense of environmental concerns. O'Neill focuses on the creation of flood control programs along the lower Mississippi River and the Sacramento River, the first two rivers to receive federal flood control aid. She describes how, in the early to mid-nineteenth century, planters, shippers, and merchants from both regions campaigned for federal assistance with flood control efforts. She explains how the federal government was slowly and reluctantly drawn into water management to the extent that, over time, nearly every river in the United States was reengineered. Her narrative culminates in the passage of the national Flood Control Act of 1936, which empowered the Army Corps of Engineers to build projects for all navigable rivers in conjunction with local authorities, effectively ending nationwide, comprehensive planning for the protection of water resources.

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 5/3/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Tables and Maps
Preface
Acknowledgments
Rivers and State Authority
Infrastructure Builds the State
The Founding Principles of River Development
Regional Competition and the Rise of the Flood Control Campaign
The Mississippi River: Becoming the Nation's River
The Mississippi River: Resentment Leading to Civil War
The Mississippi River: Postwar Reunification, Postwar Aid
The Sacramento River: Miners versus Farmers
The Sacramento River: Capitalists Unify for Development
Redesigning Rivers in the National Interest
Federal Aid for the Mississippi and Sacramento Rivers
The Fully Designed River
A Nationwide Program for Flood Control
Rivers by Design
Mississippi Valley River Improvement Conventions
Mississippi River Levee Association, Executive Committee
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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